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How to defend your brand
News travels fast, especially on the Internet. It has been said that one satisfied customer will tell one friend about their shopping experience but one unsatisfied customer will tell 100 people about their experience. With the speed of the Web, how can brands defend their honor, so to speak? Here are three way to defend your brand before - and after - an attack.
First, build trust. Consumers need to know what they are getting from your brand. This means online and off and before and after purchases. Don't fill their inboxes with thousands of messages, don't bait and switch - not even inadvertently - and don't jeopardize your reputation by flirting with best practices guidelines. Ensure that your customer base knows their information is safe with you and communicate your marketing practices from the very first email message sent.
Second, respond to their needs. If a customer emails or calls with a product, warranty or customer service question ensure that the person speaking - or emailing - with them is listening to their needs. Include simple feedback forms on your website and create a feedback only email address so that as soon as an emailed question comes in there is someone on staff to begin an investigation.
Third, respond to consumer communications in a timely manner. Not a week later or a month. Set up an automated email letting them know that their question has arrived and is being researched. Then, withing a short time - preferable less than 72 hours - have an answer for them.
Lastly, remember that you can't be in all places at all times. There will be negative things said about your brand but if your website is open and honest with the details, the truth will come out. Creating brand loyalty is about creating open dialogue. Following these three steps is a good start.
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