It feels like the worst thing that could happen to your business: your receive a complaint that's public and devastating. Is your reputation ruined? You can improve your reputation, even in the face of complaints.
Own Up to the Mistake
If you have made a mistake, then the best action to take is to acknowledge it. Make sure that you let people in general know how sorry you are for making this mistake and that you are taking steps to fix what happened. This makes you appear ethical in the public eye, and this is important, even if the mistake that happened is a small one. The language that you use here matters as well. According to Small Business UK, "by using language such as ‘recognize’, ‘absolutely committed’, ‘taking actions’, ‘rectify issues’ and ‘prevent,’" you can help people understand that you are truly dedicated to fixing the problem.
Talk About Your Values
When you receive a public complaint, make sure that you find a way to communicate your values to the public, particularly if this complaint is about your lack of values. Highlight the ways that your company puts those values into action. Demonstrate the tangible ways that you connect with and support your customers and your employees.
Focus on Your Strengths
If you have someone who's talking about you in a public and negative way, you can reply and acknowledge your mistake. However, you don't want to be known only as the organization that makes mistakes. According to APCO Worldwide, "communicating on the company’s credible strengths is the best place to start" when you're rebuilding after a mistake or complaint. Focus on your very real strengths and remind people why it's important that they visit you.
Amend Your Processes
If your business has made an error or if you have an employee who is not good at engaging with people, you need to amend the people and processes behind your organization. This could involve staff coaching or training, or it could involve evaluating the processes that you use to do simple activities such as bringing on new insurance clients. Your clients not only want to see that you can manage a single mistake, they also want to see you change the processes that led to that mistake in the first place.
Continue to Brand and Create Your Reputation
Even if you've received a complaint, you can still continue to develop your brand. While a complaint might seem devastating right now, it's important to continue to be that leader that you've always been. If you write content about family insurance, continue to do that and do it well. Over time, if you manage your complaints, this ongoing reputation and content will be what sticks.
Get E&O Insurance
While E&O insurance won't necessarily save your business reputation, it will help your business survive. Errors and omissions happen at work, and they can certainly be the cause of a lot of customer angst. Rightly so: if you make an error that causes financial or other ramifications for your customers, then you'll need to ensure that you can manage any lawsuits that result. Customers who feel like they've received financial compensation for an error are less likely to make your error into a large, public problem.
At American Agents Alliance, we help you build a business that will last. Talk with us about our many membership benefits, including E&O insurance.