Working with clients who need reputation management can really help open your eyes on what and what not to do. There are a lot of things that can fall into this list, but here’s a quick list of a few simple guidelines to keep your reputation in check online:
- Answer customer support quickly, promptly and friendly. You can have a sub-par product but if you treat your customers with the respect you would expect, it will take you a long way.
- Don’t piss off customers no matter how strongly you feel about your side. The term “Ass Kissing” should be plugged in here. Punch a hole in the wall after you kiss their ass, but make it your goal to do everything you can to make that customer happy. All it takes is one pissed off customer ripping you on a blog or site and it’s never going away.
- Don’t engage in discussions about your company and/or product on message forums or blogs if you plan on saying something you’ll regret later. Once you publish it, it’s published and there’s no taking it back.
- Intended or unintended deception is like digging your own grave. The worst thing a company could possibly do is deceive customers in any possible way. The feeling of “being had” is one that people like to talk about the most. Sometimes this can be an honest mistake, which is where quick and friendly customer support would fly in and handle the situation before it blows up, so keep up with what your customers are saying.
With these things in mind, let’s now take a look at what Network Solutions has been doing that is probably going to bite them in the ass. I’ve always wondered why people are still paying more than triple the price for a domain name at Network Solutions and Register.com when you can buy the same name over at Godaddy for less than $10! Evidently registrars are participating in a tactic called Front Running, which lets registrars snatch up domain names people search for making them only available through their own service and allowing them to charge higher prices.
Network Solutions has forced millions of people to buy Internet domain names from them instead of cheaper competitors through a scheme that’s netted the firm millions of dollars, a federal class action lawsuit filed today by Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP states. ICANN, whose policies facilitate the scheme, is also named in the suit, filed in U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
“Imagine if you asked a car dealer if they had a black convertible and were then forced to buy the car from them. Would you get a good deal? Each time someone asks Network Solutions about a domain name, the firm creates a monopoly for itself, forcing consumers to pay the price they demand,” said Brian Kabateck, lead counsel in the class action and Kabateck Brown Kellner’s Managing Partner.
The lawsuit also targets ICANN due to them allowing it to continue. Granted, ICANN will be fine after this is all over, but Network Solutions is going to need a strong reputation management campaign once this is said and done. This example might put it into perspective; a domain portfolio of 750 names would cost $20,000 MORE using Netsol.com versus Godaddy.com. Same product, same yearly charge, just $20k more each year. Keep them for 10 years and it’ll cost you $200k more.
Let this serve as our official letter to Network Solutions. If you decide you want to start knocking down the bad sites replacing them with the good, we can help you!