WIN Magazine - Winter 2013 - (Page 28)

FEATURE YOUR REPUTATION MATTERS, ONLINE AND OFF BY ROD HUGHES I F YOU THINK social media isn't important to your business, it's time to face facts. Last summer, just one blog post-and a misguided attempt to respond to criticism on Facebook and Twitter- changed forever the public perception of an insurance carrier well known to the public. The controversy stemmed from an auto accident in 2010 that killed a driver insured by Progressive. After protracted negotiations by the family with Progressive and some legal maneuvering, the deceased insured's brother turned to his personal blog to detail his perspective on Progressive's handling of the claim. A social media firestorm ensued. The general public took to Facebook and Twitter to criticize Progressive. Adding insult to injury, Progressive issued a measured-and very corporate-response that was repeated several times, further fanning the flames of public outrage. It also did not help that the smiling image of Progressive's corporate advertising spokesperson "Flo" appeared on the Tweets the insurer sent. At the time of this writing, the vitriol is still directed toward Progressive on Facebook and Twitter as a result of this incident. Establishing an online presence invites both opportunities and challenges. However, some companies believe if they don't engage in social media they are somehow protecting the reputations of their businesses. This is a mistaken belief. Social media is constant, evolving and increasingly the place where consumers turn for information, evaluation and criticism. Even if your wholesale insurance agency, brokerage or insurance company isn't proactively engaged in social media, it's quite likely you are being talked about online. And according to a survey 2 8 | v i e w t h i s i s s u e a t | by, 60 percent of consumers say online ratings and reviews are important when they research a product or service. The reputation of a business no longer rests primarily in the hands of the owners, managers or employees. Thanks to social media, consumers are controlling and shaping the reputations of millions of businesses large and small every day. Consumers use social media to research, review, compliment and castigate businesses on a broad range of issues. As such, entrepreneurs and managers must be proactive if they are to play a role in shaping their agency or company brand reputations, as well as to mitigate any damage from disgruntled customers. But if your reputation is in the hands of customers, what can you, the owner or manager, do to exercise some control? There are five steps you can take to both protect and enhance your brand's reputation.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WIN Magazine - Winter 2013

Disappearing…and Reappearing Risk: What Lies Ahead
An Innovative Solution for Reducing the Debt of College RMI Students
Does Politics Influence Regulatory Forebearance?
Predictive Analytics: The “Black Box” Used by Savvy Insurance Professionals
Just the Facts—On FATCA: Frequently Asked Questions on the Foreign Assets Tax Compliance Act
Your Reputation Matters, Online and Off
New Wholesale Insurance Product Focus: Protection from Hacked Bank Accounts: Protecting Small Business Policyholders
In the WIN-ner’s Circle
Index to Advertisers/

WIN Magazine - Winter 2013