Reputation is the perception of your product (or company) based on your customer’s personal views or prejudices. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, defines reputation as: “What people say about you when you have left the room.” A few dissatisfied customers along the way may create negative reviews, but we all know you can’t please everyone, all the time. It’s the majority that counts most, however it is critical to monitor and analyze what caused the negative Customer Experience, so we can learn and improve.
Corporate marketing plans often include strategies to enhance their reputation, but are they considering customer feedback as a device for measuring reputation? Should these views yield influence on the way you produce and deliver your products?
Lately, social media has emerged as a handy tool for gaining insight into consumer’s expectations. Customers are talking in their own language about the products they are using, voicing opinions and sharing their experiences and disappointments. They are discussing product/brand features in relation to cost and reputation. Perhaps ‘Social Research,’ if you will, is being prepared right before our eyes as social networks display consumer findings of our products.
While many shoppers are using social media to make informed decisions about their purchases, you can take advantage of the same information to modify your marketing plan, find a fix or correct customer support delivery, if necessary. Building and maintaining a good reputation are keys to business success. If positive PR is missing from your product’s character, you need to know about it quickly so you can find a solution to repair the injury.
Turning a deaf ear to the small voices of your Customers can easily turn them into a roar like the one Toyota is experiencing today and Dell experienced 5 years ago with XPS overheating. Being proactive early in the game can prevent tarnish on your reputation and enormous cost of its repair. In reputation management, an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a ton of cure.
We have developed a methodology to consistently measure product reputation. Raw, Customer generated data is used to measure the difference between consumer expectations and their actual experience with a specific product. These metrics, and detailed “Deep Dive” reports, provide effective road maps for product management and delivery.
Reputation beats everything else. But as Rome was not built in a day, reputation cannot be built in a day either. However, one blunder and you could hit the wall, knocking it all down. Learn to listen to what your customers are saying; your reputation is at stake.