Wednesday, August 15, 2018

5 Easy Steps To Avoid Negative Posts & Reviews

Take proactive steps to protect your company's online reputation. One tweet could make or break your company's brand and reputation.

Not too long ago, a business could still be successful without being perfect. If the odd customer was left unhappy or unsatisfied, then it was unfortunate but business owners didn’t lose sleep over it. But times are quickly changing. With an endless supply of social media channels out there, the average disgruntled customer can quickly and easily post scathing reviews that may scare new customers away. It doesn't matter if the review is true or false, people read reviews AND believe them.

If your business and employees fail to perform at your customers' standards, then they will complain -- that's a no-brainer. Unfortunately, it’s a possibility that employees could get fired because of these complaints: "hell hath no fury" like an ex-employee scorned.

It takes more than a few positive reviews online to effectively combat negative social media rants. Here are 5 proactive tips to keep your reputation intact.

#1 Offer compensation for unsatisfied customers and set things right. If their business with you was somehow unpleasant, then be sure to offer some sort of reparation to encourage their future patronage.

#2 Never shrug off a complaint. All it takes is one negative tweet to that person’s 700 “friends” to bring an abrupt halt to visitor traffic on your site. And remember, people on the internet feel like they have a cloud of anonymity to hide behind, so they won’t hold back.

#3 Develop a group of positive, loyal customers that are willing to make the occasional positive post about your business. It might seem a little like cheating, but they are real customers who really like your business, so why not ask?

#4 Send small tokens of appreciation to your loyal and "happy" customers. It’s amazing how much people value even the smallest gift when it’s unexpected.

#5 Conduct exit interviews BEFORE you fire an employee. No one is more potentially harmful than an ex-employee when it comes to posting. That’s why having an exit-interview upon their termination is so important, it gives the individual a chance to clear the air and get their complaints out of their system so they don’t stay bottled up until they explode in a fury of angry tweets.

By following these 5 basic steps, your business can take a major proactive step in preventing negative online posts from affecting your business. If you are a service-based company, it's imperative that you stay on top of your company's online reputation (or hire a professional social media or marketing company to track posts and reviews for you!)

About the Writer

Therese Pope is a copywriter and digital media buzz-icist. She owns Zenful Communications, a marketing communications company nestled in the foothills of northern California. She helps small to mid-sized businesses create a positive online buzz around their brands.
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4 comments on 5 Easy Steps To Avoid Negative Posts & Reviews

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By Randy Mitchell on September 22, 2011 at 07:05 pm

A very informative article. Useful tips which every business needs! Thanks for posting, Therese.

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By Therese Pope on September 23, 2011 at 09:13 am

Thanks Randy!

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By Therese Pope on September 23, 2011 at 01:29 pm

Garry, I definitely agree. I just had a nightmare with Toyota's customer service (and Alaska Airlines). As a social media marketer, I knew that if I wanted a quick response (to get someone to talk/correspond with me offline was a joke) I had to post my experience online for them to take notice. I do the same thing - if I want to find information about a company, restaurant, etc. I search online first. The point of my article is that companies need to be aware of what their customers and clients say on their social media. It boils down to offering good customer service in the first place so you aren't back peddling with your damage control.

Jen, I agree with your first point but you could exacerbate a "sensitive" situation if you were to throw up a "private" message that was sent to you. It really depends on the nature of the private email that was sent to you. There is a reason that the person sent that email privately to you. It could be a breach of confidentiality if you were to post their complaint publicly. I understand the point you're trying to make about transparency, but from a PR and marketing POV you have to be VERY careful with posting a private message. You could also use it as a learning experience and blog about it and just leave out the customer's name. Companies should negative reviews and comments as learning experiences but just treat private messages with kid gloves - it could backfire on you.

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By Therese Pope on September 28, 2011 at 05:50 pm

Jen, thanks for your feedback and input! :)

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