With the ever increasing reach of the internet in our decisions to buy and form opinions businesses are at great risk of losing their credibility due to unhappy customers. Unlike in the past consumers are not lodging their displeasure with supervisors, client care, or the headquarters instead they are going online with their reservations and making their opinions readable to tens of millions of readers.
The readers could be your client, prospects, or maybe your relatives and colleagues – severely denting not only your image, but also your business/employment as well.
They say, “Bad news or a lie travels half way around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on” and it could not have been more accurate when it comes to the internet. Disgruntled people can easily post a negative status on sites like Facebook and Twitter and within minutes hundreds if not thousands of users could be privy to such harmful information about your company or yourself.
To make matters worse there is not a whole lot that can be done to stop such opinions even if they are baseless and malicious.
The internet with its ability to mask the proponents of such negative campaigns makes it an attractive medium for people or businesses with malicious intent to hurt you. On top of that there is surety that action can be taken against such individuals or getting the comments deleted because in most cases the forums/websites are clueless as to who wrote them and the websites/forums themselves cannot be held liable.
Websites such as scambooks.com, ripoffreport.com, and scams.com are proud of the fact that they do not delete negative opinions.
Your possible defense could be to start responding to each and every single negative post about your or your company online, but how long can you go back and forth with a people ruining your reputation? Also wouldn’t your efforts be better utilized in managing and growing your company?
Repercussions of negative comments/reviews can quickly get out of hand:
It is ironic that a majority of companies either choose to disregard their online image or are unable to respond promptly to hand the issue when it appears.
Let us consider an example:
Andy started a games shop with a friend Mark. Everything went smoothly in the beginning and their company took off. However with the passage of time dents appeared in the relationship between the two friends over how to move to the company forwards and the business partners agreed to part ways. Andy kept the original company and Mark went about opening a new one.
Business went as usual for Andy and he took great care of his consumers, but after a while he started noticing a dip in the revenue. New customers were getting hard to find and the company went into a downward spiral.
Andy worked hard to get the sales back up by introducing various company promotions, new games, added warranties, but his efforts were unsuccessful. One day a client came to Andy and demanded a refund. Andy asked her the reasons and she mentioned that after going through the material posted online about his company she did not feel comfortable doing business with him.
Andy was shocked. He was clueless about any Internet Comments. He logged on to the computer to see what the lady was referring to and to his horror he noticed comments from pirated video games to video game scammers and the list went on and on.
Andy tried to rectify the situation by reaching out to the bloggers, but due to the anonymous nature of most of the postings he hardly had any luck. There were far too many negative posts and he did not recognize any of them being customers for him to make things better. And so he was left with a difficult situation not knowing what to do.
The issues compounded for Andy when his video game suppliers decided not to renew their relationship since being associated with Andy’s company in light of all the harmful online feedback gave their product a negative publicity. They decided the business was not worth the risk of being involved with a company with a bad reputation.
On the flip side Mark’s business was booming and all of Andy’s customers had started shopping with Mark. That’s when Andy realized that the malicious comments were posted by none other than his former friend and business partner.
Such a situation is familiar to many business owners. Companies are accused of baseless activities, rude customer service, scams etc.
In more dire circumstances a business owner’s integrity and character could be called into question as well. With an eager blogger out to ruin a company’s reputation ordinary measures are often not enough to deal with the situation.
Comments that could ruin your Online Reputation can include the following:
Unhygienic Kitchen Practices
Sell Defective Items
Late Customer Service
The negative comments can be unending with each one having the ability to turn away new customers and making existing clients second guess the relationship. It is extremely difficult and expensive to take legal action against every individual indulged in a smear campaign against your business.
However, inaction is also not the solution and the longer you wait the harder to will be to address the problem and remove all negative comments from Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
You need Online Reputation Management Experts:
Our team has seen and helped a number of Orange County Businesses with their Reputation Management needs and have managed to contain the harmful effects of negative comments on Google.
It is quite frequent to see jealous colleagues, unhappy employees, or even some unethical competitors who can go online post negative ads and impact your business severely. After all to them payback couldn’t have come easier.
Your business could manifest the most ethical practices, the best produces, the most reasonable prices, quality products, great services, or finger licking food (if you are a restaurant owner), but that does not mean that you are safe from malicious smear campaigns that someone might be interested in running against you since they cannot compete with you otherwise. The best way to deal with such a situation is to have a plan in place to monitor your company’s image.
As a business owner you would like the best qualities of your business to be shown to people looking for products/services that you offer and for that you need the help of an expert that can help create online assets for your company that will relay that information to searchers. Since the negative comments cannot be removed it is best to create positive content that ranks higher and thus becomes the first source of information available to people.
How soon should you get help? To protect the image of your company you should start monitoring it from the time you open doors, but there is no need to worry if you are a little behind.
Our team can help formulate a strategy that will help you deal with unethical competitors, unhappy employees, unreasonable customers, Anonymous accounts etc.
If you would like to protect your business before you are in the middle of a negative situation or are already facing the consequences of online slander feel free to call us (714) 770-8155 and get a complimentary insight on how we can create a Triple A rating for your company’s online image.