How poor reviews online can damage your business

 Poor reviews can damage your reputation

online reviewsCustomer service was usually the first point of call customers can vented their frustration or complaints to but with social media now being the main source of complaints, its definitely worth keeping an eye on your social media mentions.

With blogs, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, everyone can be a critic!

While that’s good for free speech, it’s a double-edged sword for business owners. Compliments and complaints can now be instantly broadcast around the world and bad reviews can linger online for months or even years.

That’s why it’s critical to keep tabs on what people are saying about your business online.

Large companies can afford to have in-house “online reputation managers” scrolling the Internet, checking for any mentions of their business. But for small businesses, such vigilance might seem difficult, time-consuming and expensive. However, it’s easier and cheaper than you might think. And it’s just as important for small companies to be mindful of their online image as it is for multinational corporations. When you have a smaller pool of customers, a few disparaging comments can have a proportionately larger impact.

Herbert Tabin and Craig Agranoff, reputation-management consultants and co-authors of the book Do It Yourself Online Reputation Management, say small-business owners often fail to consider how they’re being perceived online until it’s too late. ”One detractor with an Internet connection can be your enemy,” says Tabin. “Either you control what’s said about your business or other people will.”

How to monitor your online reputation

There are many tools available to monitor what people say about you online. One of these is Hootsuite who offer a free version for five social media accounts and a Pro version at about £9 per month for up to fifty social media accounts. There is also a free version of TweetDeck. Both of these software allows you to have a separate column for mentions, so keeping a close eye on these can then enable you to respond to any poor reviews.

What to do if you suffer with poor reviews

The most important thing to do is not ignore them, hoping they will disappear. A company made an advert saying that 9 out of 10 cows say they preferred their products…. the ASA quickly responded to a competitor’s complaint and removed the advert – how can a cow say they preferred one product over another? However this was over a few years ago but can still be found online.

Respond quickly to the poor review, asking publicly what you can do to rectify the issue and then follow up privately. If the matter can be solved, ask for the poor review to be removed. If this is not done, ask that the reviewer make an updated review and hope the matter is completely resolved.

If the review cannot be rectified or removed, then hit the social media and search engine optimisation with a definite goal in mind. Make a new advertising campaign, using social media, blogs and SEO to drive more company, brand awareness across social media, in the hope that this new wave of mentions and social media participation will replace the poor review.

If the poor review has been placed on a third part review site, contact the site administrators advising of all you have done to resolve the issue.

Need help with overcoming poor reviews?

Clareville360 can help with putting together a traditional PR campaign, coupled with a digital marketing (online PR) campaign to drive the poor reviews out of contention. Call John on 0207 736 4022 to see how we can help.

About the author

Digital Marketing Professional with 9 years experience across Search Engine Optimisation, Link Building, Social Media, Blogging, Content Writing, Website Design and Build.

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