Online Reputation Case: Tesla and Its CEO Elon Musk

Tesla seems to be having consistent sales even in spite of the scrutiny surrounding its CEO Elon Musk, which has diminished Americans’ opinion of the manufacturer.

Musk has been in the attention of the media, especially social media, appearing in controversial circumstances. Elon Musk has been under investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission for one of his tweets that has been suspected as market manipulation. The CEO had to pay a $20 million fine and agree to leave his post. Other incidents include the appearance on the Joe Rogan show and smoking weed.

Still, Tesla has seen sales continue to maintain its level in July through September, according to data from Second Measure, a company that looks at anonymized credit card data and analyzed the frequency of $2,500 fees Tesla buyers pay shortly before receiving their cars.

This year has already been a great year for electric vehicles specifically, with Tesla’s Model 3 being the electric vehicle with the highest sales in the U.S. There has not been any official comment on how recent allegations might have affected Tesla; however it was stated that production and delivery targets are being met and interest for Teslas remains high.

Tesla seems to be having a good impression on the secondary market as well. Teslas hold their value more in resale and demand is not dwindling even for used vehicles. A 2015 Model S is listed for an average of 70% of its original price in comparison to 66% for other cars. Keep in mind that as a new car manufacturer, Tesla vehicles are still relatively rare on the market and this could be a factor for such healthy demand on the used car market.

Tesla’s Public Perception

Even though the interest for Teslas remains stable, the impression of the company is at the lowest point it has ever been. This is according to data from YouGov Brand Index, which monitors consumer sentiment through online surveys. Elon Musk’s controversial actions has negatively compounded on the technical issues that have been previously documented. Consumers’ sentiment of the brand on a scale of 100 for “very positive” to -100 for “very negative” — has declined more than 80% during 2018, even falling lower than the car making industry in general.

This is a case of social media presence that has directly impacted the online reputation of the company. Even though there is no immediate effect on the bottom line of the company, this can very well develop in the medium to long term. Tesla demand could dwindle as it fills its order backlog and its $7,500 federal tax credit soon expires.

Use Online Content to Improve Your Digital Reputation and Increase Sales

Unrepresentative Negative Reviews

There is always one vocal client that feels treated unfairly or a disgruntled ex-employee. The issue becomes that even after you’ve parted ways, the strained relationships might return to affect your reputation in a negative way.

Customers can easily leave reviews on platforms like Yelp and Google, that will echo to a lot more people. Ex-employees also have platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed where they can vent if they feel to have been mistreated.

Business owners have often observed a bias towards negative feedback on anonymous platforms, where the upset users always are more vocal and instantly share their discontent in comparison to those that had a positive experience with the product.

Negative reviews are frustrating to business owners and can easily affect the bottom line of the business. Sometimes there are reviews that misrepresent your reputation as a brand. It can be challenging to deal with unrepresentative and biased online reviews, but having a strategic plan in place will make it much easier to manage your online reputation.

Digital Content Matters

Creating content for your digital reputation is essential and will help steer your reputation in the right direction. If you are not actively doing it, you should definitely start considering it.

It makes no difference whether you are in the business-to-business or business-to-consumer industry, every brand should leverage online tools to inform their prospective customers and help them in their purchasing decisions.

Buyers very often go through a whole decision-making process of their own before contacting a sales representative. Therefore when you focus solely on explicit sales numbers like pricing or discounts; you might be missing out on convincing a lot of potential customers, which might not even enter your sales funnel.

Creating online content ranges from blogging, media coverage, case studies to infographics and videos. There are a lot of methods to attract the attention of your customers. Around 75% of buyers said that their chosen brand has had a significant impact with their content on their decision making process.

This is an on-going trend and should not lose popularity, as 51% of B2B buyers say they pay more attention to content to research before making a decision than they did a year ago. Brands that forget their clients’ reliance on internet research will have their work cut out for them.

It is better acknowledge earlier that digital reputation has an impact on buying decisions and start engaging with your potential customers. Educate your followers and give them enough reasons to buy from you and always keep an open mind in conducting a two-way discussion on the web. You will be able to capture the awareness during their research stage and will experience a higher sales conversion as a result.

Four Key Metrics to Monitor for Your Customer Service

Every successful business has a system in place to measure key metrics and identify strengths and weaknesses in their workflow. Many companies fixate on the lagging indicators (like revenue and the number of customers), but there leading indicators are often ignored. However these are factors that more accurately can predict success and mainly how well you are servicing your customers. Utilising customer service metrics will help your business extract key insights and elevate your service.

Here are four metrics that will help you get a clear picture of the current trends in your data and use it to your advantage.

1. Website traffic conversion rate

Most companies will keep an eye on the amount of traffic they are getting, but overlook the more important metric – the conversion rate. To improve your conversion rate, analyze your call-to-action methods present on your website. Track each of them to see which one has the highest conversion and try to maximize your conversion rate. Develop benchmarks and goals for conversion rates. This way you will always know if the right customers are being targeted.

2. Percentage of questions relative to customers

Even though this metric is essential, yet few businesses pay attention to it. Everyone tracks the number of total issues but many companies overlook how many questions (meaning simple points of clarification or confusion) they receive.

Any product or service should be as clear as possible to your customer. Therefore, determine the number of queries you get as a percentage of customers and see that it continuously improves the clarity of your product or service.

3. Repeat customer rate

How is your churn rate? Are your customers returning for your product? Tracking churn or repeat behaviors is critical to understanding where your product stands in terms of customer satisfaction. There various ways to measure this and will depend on the business you have and the industry you are in. Set specific goals at regular intervals to track the progress and push for improvement.

 

4. Time for customer query resolution

When people contact your customer service, it is critical that they speak to the appropriate specialist. Besides evaluating how much time on average it takes to solve a customer issue, it is also important to monitor if there are intermediaries between the first contact person and the person who actually solves the problem. No consumer wants to wait or be constantly redirected when he appeals to your customer service. Your goal should be to have a 98 % resolutions within a day and first-contact solution.

Measuring and monitoring important metrics, not only helps you see how your organization is doing, but also gain insightful observations on how to act for further improvement. Doing weekly or monthly reporting on key metrics is advisable and after a longer period of time benefits from this analysis will start compounding to your company’s advantage.

Taking On Reputation Management in the Online Era

The web significantly influences any sort of business. That is the reason most organizations today utilize online channels to get the message out locally, but also to a much wider audience.

In any case, setting up your business’ online image is not about just making a website and putting every one of your items and services you provide in an attractive format. Aside from telling what you can offer to your audience, you also need to actively curate your online reputation. As the leader of your business, you need to ensure an appropriate image of your business.

Negative comments about your business should always be acknowledged and dealt with. Maintaining your online reputation is not a choice anymore, however an important strategy to boost your business.

Here are a few hints on the best way to do this.

Make sure you have accounts on all social media platforms where your clients might be. Be as responsive as possible. When you receive comments from your followers or users, irrespective if it is positive or negative, you should take into consideration the feedback and respond accordingly. Never try to escalate negative reviews. In some cases, the negative inputs are the ones that can enable you to strengthen the image of your business.

On the off chance that you are having difficulties, look for specialists that will help repair your reputation. Not every person has the talent for words and getting individuals who can conciliate “furious” clients will enable you to win back their trust.

You should also remember that customers’ needs change occasionally. By engaging your customers online, you can be a step ahead and always know their requirements towards your services shift.

The vast majority today depend on forums where buyers discuss their encounters with a specific brand, product or service. Whatever your potential customers read online can impact their decisions. Consequently, always check how you are viewed in these discussions. From that point, you might better understand what parts of your business require change.

In the event that for example, you see a blogger who gave a negative review about your service, try to engage with him and ask what could make him/her change his/her perspective about how he sees your business. Once more, whatever feedback you gather, acknowledge it and use it to your advantage.

It is difficult to please everybody. In any case, you have to ensure that you are a business or an organization that people trust. Be tireless in looking at how you are seen by others and continually investigate how you can influence buyers to pick your products and become your loyal clients.

Reddit Data Breach – What Kind of Two-Factor Authentication Do You Use?

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In early August 2018, Reddit became the latest site to announce a major data breach. The hack occurred in June 2018 and appears to have affected user credentials from early Reddit accounts (before 2007), as well as email digests posted between the 3rd and 17th of June 2018. Reddit claims to have learned about the intrusion on 19th June but spent the following months investigating which data sets were compromised. Users who have opened their accounts or updated their passwords since 2007 won’t have had their credentials compromised, but the recent email digests may have included associated usernames and email addresses.

A Closer Look

It appears the hackers were able to enter the Reddit system by intercepting the SMS two-factor authentication of employee accounts. Reddit has assured users that only ‘read-only access’ was gained, so the hackers were not able to alter any information; however, they did succeed in obtaining access to all user data on a pre- 2007 backup as well as ‘source code and other logs’. Reddit reported the incident to law enforcement and has since taken steps to enhance security and block further breaches. The company has also switched employees to more secure token-based two-factor authentication (such as Yubikey or Google’s new Titan) and recommends users do the same.

Individuals who haven’t updated their credentials since the 2007 backup will receive an automatic password reset. Chief technology officer Christopher Slowe also recommends that users think about whether they are using an old Reddit password on any other accounts since these could also become compromised through the hack. As far as the more recent data, users who chose not to associate an email account with their digests won’t be affected. Otherwise, Slowe warns the digests associated with your email could become public, leading to reputation damage if the content is unprofessional.

Two-Factor SMS Is No Longer Secure

The incident highlights yet again that two-factor authentication using a one-time passcode sent via SMS is no longer secure. According to security analyst Tyler Moffitt at Webroot, this type of authentication is ‘more secure than password alone’, but it remains vulnerable to targeted attacks as shown by a number of recent celebrity hacks. There’s a lot of personal data available on the dark web, especially after massive breaches like that which occurred at Equifax in the US. In many cases, hackers don’t have to search that hard to get the personal information they need to impersonate you with your mobile provider and hijack your telephone number. From there, it’s easy to intercept the passcode and access your account.

What Should You Do?

If you are a Reddit user, it’s a good idea to reset your password, regardless of when you registered or whether you’ve changed it recently. If you are sharing material that could be compromising to your reputation, make sure you don’t have a recognisable email address associated with the account. It’s also a good idea to invest in a universal two-factor authentication device, especially if you think hackers might target you for any reason.

Contact ReputationDefender today if you have further concerns about the Reddit hack or security issues in general.