A poor reputation isn’t good for business. Attracting customers could be a struggle (or you may find that you’re attracting the wrong sort of customer). You may have been publicly shamed on social media, you may have lots of negative reviews or you may have garnered a bad reputation locally simply through word of mouth. It might have been one big mistake that tanked your reputation, or it could have been a gradual process.
Whatever the case may be, saving your reputation is still possible. Here are just a few steps for rebuilding a damaged reputation.
If your reputation has been destroyed by a single event, it’s important that you own up to your mistakes and publicly apologize immediately. You could post something on social media or email all customers that have been affected. Clear up any misunderstandings so that there are no false rumours still in circulation and be honest about the things you have done wrong. A public apology may not be necessary if it’s been a gradual slip in reputation, although you may still benefit from responding to individual negative reviews with apologies. This guide at Entrepreneur offers more tips on publicly apologizing.
Consider a rebrand
To get rid of your bad image problem, it could be essential that you rebrand yourself. This will help to show consumers that you’re reinventing yourself and could convince them that you’ve turned over a new leaf. Changing your company name isn’t necessary (and could be seen as an attempt to hide your past), however you may want to consider changing your logo, redesigning your website and potentially refurbishing your premises.
Hire a PR company
A PR company may be able to help you establish positive media coverage that could help to rebuild your reputation. This could be important if you’ve developed bad press that is putting off customers. There are PR companies out there such as Elite Lawyer Management that caters to specialised industries. Choosing a specialist PR company could ensure that you get a service specialised to you.
Utilize your happy customers
Not all your customers are likely to be complaining. You may still have some loyal customers that have stuck with you through thick and thin. Reward these customers so that you don’t end up losing them too – this could involve giving them exclusive discounts or other privileges. You can also ask them to leave positive reviews to try and outweigh some of the negative reviews that you may have developed.
Acts of philanthropy may be able to make up for some of the wrong you’ve committed. You could start donating proceeds to charity or you could try to make efforts to embrace fair trade and sustainable methods. This could help to paint your company in a more positive light.
You cannot rebuild a damaged reputation overnight. It could take months – and even years – before you’re able to fully leave behind your past reputation. Slowly but surely you will be able to win people over again, providing that you don’t let any bad behaviours from the past resurface.