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    Posted June 4, 2014 by

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    Manage Your Reputation When Criticized Online

    What Should You Do When Your Business Is Criticized?

    Almost everything is discussed online, and it can be quite dangerous for business organizations of all sizes.. You might be wondering what you can do when your business is criticized online. People look for information about a company on the Better Business Bureau, Google+ ,Angie’s List and other public sites. A lower rating on these websites can prove to be disastrous for your business.

    In recent years, reputation management has evolved from being a backend job to something that can make or break your business. Public forums have also become more important, and people rely on the information they find online to make up their minds about a business.

    Monitor Consumer Activity - It is very important to monitor your consumer’s online activity in discussion threads and other platforms. It can be easy to search social networks to find what customers are saying about your company. If detractors or fans of your company have created a Facebook page, you need to bookmark it.

    Consumer reports have always been important to assist shoppers to help make up their minds about certain products and services. Due to this, websites like Yelp, Google+ and Angie’s List have become very important for consumers.

    You need to proactively and publicly address the feedback you receive on the Internet. If someone has logged a complaint, you need to communicate with the concerned person, and try to establish a direct point of contact.

    Bring the Complainers Directly to You - It is always better to establish a direct point of contact with the complainers. When you’re able to channel the communication to your website, you will be able to own the medium and direction of communication. You need to have a place on your website where consumers can leave feedback.

    Avoid the Seek and Destroy Strategy - You should avoid the temptation to remove or censor the negative comments that appear on your Facebook page or website. When you remove negative feedback, consumers lose trust in the company. This can be disastrous for your business.

    Align Your Team - When you have a reputation management team, you need to integrate it with your customer service team. Members of both the teams should work together to achieve desired goals, and provide better service to customers.

    Address Complaints Promptly - Unanswered complaints never turn out to be fruitful. They can create a negative mindset about your organization. When you notice any complaints about the business, you need to address them promptly.

    Follow Up - When the problem has been resolved, you should follow up with the customer. It is also important to ask the customer to leave additional feedback on how their complaint was handled. Most of the time, the most vocal consumers who left complaints about your business online would be willing to praise your service when the issue has been resolved.

    What about print media or an actual news article?
    If you notice something negative about your business in an article, you need to take some immediate steps. You need to contact the publication and reporter to see if the article can be slightly modified to include your feedback and follow up. You should also ask them to correct any misinformation or misstatements. If the publication or reporter doesn’t allow, you should leave the feedback in the comments section of the article.

    Fair or unfair, we more often believe what we read online, which means we’re all responsible for proactively managing our online persona. Your online identity—what’s revealed about you in simple search results—can impact your personal and professional relationships, your career and your finances.
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