A recent article via the Vancouver Sun gives a much-needed warning: Online reputation: protect yours. Of course, online business reputation management is not easy with the proliferation of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Friends talk to friends and it’s not always easy to be in the loop.
You can of course do regular searches using Google, Twitter Search and any other search engines that take your fancy. However none are perfect and you may be looking for the wrong keywords. That’s why it can be useful to use a service like reputation.com that will work to ensure that customers only see the truth about your business. This is done by eliminating negative material from your top search results.
As reputation.com points out you should know what’s being said about your business.
Anyone can post rumors and fake reviews online, any time — including competitors. And the longer negative material is on the Internet, the more damage it does — a recent study found that one bad online review can cut about 9% in revenues.
Clearly the best way is to work hard to make sure that customers are satisfied and if irritations occur that these are dealt with promptly. The Vancouver Sun blog had a useful checklist on this:
- Digital arguments with customers are exponentially disastrous — bite your tongue.
- Respond to online complaints directly and privately if possible.
- Respond fast.
- Keep complaints off social media — give customers every opportunity to complain to you directly.
You would think that is all good common business sense but it’s surprising how few companies seem to be oblivious and uncaring about the reputation they have out in the market-place.