Best Practices for Dealing With Online Reputation Crisis

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According to research by Moz, businesses risk losing 22 percent of their customers when one negative result appears about them on the first page of search results. This number may increase to 44 percent with two negative results and rises to 59 percent with three or more negative search results. An unfavorable search result can lead to a loss of both customers and revenue.

The way a potential customer perceives your brand is vital to the success and growth of your business, regardless of your industry. If you are viewed in a positive light, it will be easier for you to attract new customers and generate more revenue. On the other hand, if your business has developed a negative image online, you may struggle to retain even your existing customers.

Unfortunately, you are not entirely in control of your online reputation. Your existing customers are free to express their opinions about your brand and share them online with their friends and family. However, while you cannot entirely control what is being shared online, you can take measures to safeguard your reputation.

Online reputation management allows you to monitor what is being said about your brand online, track how your brand is perceived by its existing and potential customers and make necessary changes to improve your brand image.

Managing your brand’s online reputation is an ongoing process. In order to establish and protect your reputation, you must follow guidelines to ensure that you are not letting a tainted brand image go unnoticed.

1. Do not ignore negative comments: Ignoring a negative comment hoping that it will go away is a poor strategy. It will send a message that your organization does not care when your customers have bad experiences. A timely and polite response is a better plan of action. Professionally responding to negative reviews will not only help establish a long-term relationship with the customer but will also show that you are acknowledging the problem.

2. Apologize: In cases where your business did mess up, be humble enough to apologize. However, do not bribe the reviewer into changing the review. Try not to be defensive or accuse the customer of faking the situation. In order to change the customer’s negative perception of your brand, try to explain how the incident occurred.

3. Try to resolve the problem: If the reviewer’s concerns are genuine and related to poor service or product, it is your responsibility to own up and resolve the issue. Customers often post negative reviews of businesses that are trying to evade blame.

4. Share feedback with your team: Make sure every employee in your company is aware of the reviews you have received. This will help in implementing measures to prevent similar issues in the future.

5. Promote yourself: Promoting your products and services through an excellent SEO strategy will help mitigate the consequences of negative comments. The fresh content will show up higher than the negative comments in search engine results. In addition, people understand that no business is perfect. If you have a majority of positive reviews and a few negative ones, your chances of losing a potential customer are much lower.

6. Learn from the negative review: If you know that the reviewer’s complaint is valid, take proactive steps to fix the problem. You can use the information provided by the reviewer to prevent more customers from having similar problems in the future. No matter how negative or rude the review sounds, you can always learn from it.

7. Thank the reviewer: Customer who posted the negative feedback took the time to alert you about an impending issue, and you must thank him or her for giving you the opportunity to fix the problem. Had the customer simply shared his or her ad experience at a friend’s party, it would not have been possible for you to address the problem.

8. Hire a professional to manage your online reputation: Do you have a team of reputation management and social media experts to take care of your brand's digital footprint? If not, it is a good idea to hire professionals. Reputation management professionals are trained in tackling negative responses and ensuring that searchers only see the positive reviews when they look for your business online.

Reputation management is crucial, and negative online reviews can severely affect your brand’s reputation. The most effective way to manage bad reviews is to hire reputation management experts. An online reputation management company will track and monitor your online presence while implementing effective strategies to help you look your best.


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