In the age of information, the internet can be a blessing and a curse for a business. It makes it easy to reach out directly to your clients, yet it also allows dissatisfied clients to share their unhappiness with a company and damage that business’ reputation. Blogs, social media and review websites can be used to help boost your company image just as much as they can draw attention to your mistakes and failures.

Reputational risk management has become a hot-button issue in a world where practically everyone has access to an audience of friends and followers, where a few keystrokes and clicks of a mouse can create the opportunity for an average consumer to become a widely read blogger. As such, it is important to start thinking about how you plan to manage public perception of your organization. The way you handle client relationship management and employ service excellence can play a major role your firm’s overall image. 

Client Relationship Management Should Be Proactive
One of the best ways to minimize damage to your company’s online reputation is to encourage clients to share their grievances with you before airing them on social platforms. Create systems that make it easy for prospects and clients to share feedback through their preferred channels – be it email, over the phone, in writing or face-to-face. Train all of your employees, even those who are not typically client facing, about the best practices for managing business relationships and resolving issues.

Invest the time and resources to give clients the ability to voice their complaints and to provide your employees with the tools to handle them. Doing so will help you avoid many of the PR headaches that come when clients are publicly dissatisfied, thus preserving your company’s energy and finances down the road.

High-quality client service is at the heart of reputational risk management. If you commit to strengthening your client relationship management efforts and set a standard for your employees, you further reduce the chances that people will have complaints about your service in the first place.

Communicate to clients your desire for open dialogue about areas where they think your company needs to improve. When they know you are willing to listen to what they have to say, they may be less inclined to share their issues with outsiders before coming to you.