Your Online Reputation Adds Vitality to Your Brand
Take steps to build upon the positive while addressing and mitigating the negative
The internet is amazing and scary at the same time. It is a blessing in that it gives everyone a voice. And yet it is a curse in that gives everyone a voice – Even those negative voices that aren’t always worth hearing!
ENTER – the negative online review.
Each time one hits, it’s like a business canker sore that festers for a while before it clears up. It stings every time your business tries to “smile” online.
You want to use the internet to tell the world how awesome it is to experience your product or service –but there’s just one or two “naysayers” posting complaints and pointing out shortcomings.
You, the brave and fearless business owner, must do three things to survive and thrive through times of turbulent reviews:
- You must address legitimate complaints or “unmet” expectations. No person, or business is perfect. We all make mistakes. Your audience sometimes needs to see how you respond when something happens. Are you calm and composed? Or are you a hot head that can’t take a little criticism? If you have absolutely no negative reviews, that can appear “fake”. Customers will assume you buried them somehow.
- You should control and eliminate fictitious reviews. If someone lodged a complaint, and you cannot find a record of them ever being a customer or client, then they could be an unscrupulous competitor, or someone just intent on spreading lies and defaming companies online. That’s not cool, and those types of comments can be stricken from the record.
- You should sign up for a reputation management program. Ajar offers this type of review service, but so do other reputable marketers. This will ensure that reviews are monitored, flagged for response when necessary – and, most importantly, it encourages and rewards a constant stream of new reviews and comments, which further dilutes the negative.
Yes. You heard that correctly, nothing combats negative reviews online like many more positive ones. Statistics show that around 80% of the time consumers are more apt to write good reviews. There are effective ways to encourage and ask customers for their feedback.
A couple of words of advice – reputation management is a BIG and involved topic, this article only scratches the surface. In future articles we will dig deeper.
If you are dealing with any specific scenarios or review trouble, you might want to consult a professional branding advisor. A qualified company can help you remove malicious content from the web.
If you’re going to address a negative review situation on your own, take a deep breath and reference this helpful summary by Amanda Clark: 5 Things to Do When Your Business Gets a Bad Review.
We like this quote by Andy Beal, author of Repped: 30 Days to a Better Online Reputation: “If a customer is happy, they’ll tell five people. If they’re unhappy, they’ll tell 10. If they were unhappy but then you did something amazing to make them happy again, they’ll tell 20.”