How to Manage Bad Reviews & Your Reputation
At their core, reviews and review-based websites are and were meant to serve as a beacon for encouraging positive customer service. They were designed as a way to arm the consumer with trustworthy and accurate assessments of a business’ performance for present and future customers. When we say review-based websites, we mean websites and apps such as Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, Rip Off Report, Trip Advisor, Angie’s List, and Home Advisor to name a few.
What was started with the best of intentions has quickly turned into a bloodbath in many cases when customers abuse the system. This has created dishonest reviews due to personal vendettas, damaging information being spread, and in some cases, defamation and slander. Unfortunately, this has generated an entire “industry” dedicated to writing dishonest reviews in order to knock down the competition.
We’re all probably a little guilty, though. Let me tell you a story. Typically, I visit Starbucks three to five times per week on my way into the office to pick up an iced coffee. If I were to answer a survey on my experience, I would check “good”. My iced coffee is consistently delicious, the drive-thru is timely, and the baristas are usually friendly. With my typical “good experience,” do I call Starbucks’ corporate office in Seattle on a regular basis and provide positive feedback? No. Should I? Yes. Oftentimes, bad reviews are emotionally driven due to a frustrating experience, even if it wasn’t the norm. What we see on a regular basis on review websites is that generally, most reviews are a result of an emotional reaction. When using a review website, it’s important to understand the context, the history, and the nature of these sites before using them. For every bad review you see, there may be 500 positive customer experiences.
What Should I do if my Reputation Has Been Damaged?
There’s no secrets in business, right? We all have been involved in a customer service experience we can learn from or a customer service issue that we wish we would have handled differently. Unfortunately, some of the negative customer experiences escalate and individuals may resort to unethical, unprofessional, illegal, or immoral tactics to tell their story. Our professional reputation has taken many of us a lifetime of great business and personal interactions to develop. These reputations can be destroyed in an instant with the stroke of a pen or the click of a button. If you’ve received a bad review online which has damaged your personal or professional reputation, reputation management can help.
If the reviews and the statements your accuser have made are true, then you need to deal with the situation. Work with the individual or business to repair the issue, find common ground, resolve the situation, and kindly request that they remove or redact their review once a resolution has been agreed upon. Redacting or attempting to remove reviews does not guarantee doesn’t always remove the negative press. The impact your bad review(s) online will have or already have already had on your business and professional life may be great. Unfortunately, some review sites like Rip Off Report will NOT allow a review to be removed once it is posted on their website.
If the reviews, negative press, and actions of the individual or company are not true, professional reputation management can help you fix and repair your damaged reputation. At The AD Leaf ®, we’re here to help you manage these negative impacts and help you stop the lost sales your company might be facing as a result.
We focus on understanding the issues, situations, and your end goals before we begin to work together. This ensures that supporting you in restoring your professional and personal reputation is our top priority. We understand the sensitivity and care required to address these very embarrassing, scary, and delicate matters. Our first option is to support you in removing or redacting the negative press, reviews, and articles written about you. When removal isn’t possible, we will work to bury the reviews and move them away from the first pages of a search engine. It is known that the prime real estate of a search engine is the first page. If your bad publicity is move to page 2 or page 3, there is a much less likely chance that someone would read the damaging articles or reviews.
If you need help in managing your reputation or repairing it, give us a call at 321-255-0900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your reputation management consultation.