No one likes to be the subject of negative comments. Perhaps that’s why so many of us have the urge to Google ourselves. It doesn’t mean you’re narcissistic. In fact, it shows that you are smart. Keeping on top of your on-line image is critical to your business success. But what do you do if you find a negative comment about yourself or your business on-line?
So what if everyone says your feet stink. Crying about it won’t change their minds.
Decide if the negative comment really matters
If someone blogs that your store sells some really ugly sweaters, this is not really an attack. They are merely stating their opinion and they are perfectly entitled to do so. “Ugly,” after all, is subjective and readers know this.
When an individual posts a claim that you knowingly sell inferior quality products, you definitely need to respond. This is an actual attack on your character and can be harmful to your business.
Can You Determine Who Made the Offending Post?
If someone on a moderated forum writes a nasty remark, you may be able to request that the moderator remove it. This doesn’t always work, but it’s definitely worth a try.
Sometimes legitimately dissatisfied clients resort to the Internet to vent their frustrations. So show them and everyone watching that you value your customers and will work to rectify the problem. This can quickly turn a negative comment into a chance to advertise your excellence in customer service.
Don’t Take an Uzi to a Slap Fight
Never respond in anger or impulse. Take time to plan your response and remember that the goal is to diffuse the situation, not make it worse. It may feel good to engage in a Yosemite Sam-style rant in the moment, but you will regret it later.
You may be tempted to pursue legal action against an individual for slander. But this option takes money and a great deal of time. And it can also be very detrimental to your reputation.
Advice from the Pros
So, you’ve done your homework and determined that the comment is an attack on you or your business, many people will see it, and you can’t get it removed. Now what?
Here is some negative review advice from people in the business of managing reputations on-line.
- Respond to the commenter directly, using a respectful tone. In the case of the person who has accused you of selling inferior products, try to find out what experience has caused them to come to this conclusion. Perhaps, it is just a misunderstanding that can be rectified easily. Through finding and communicating a mutually satisfying resolution, you will win over that customer and everyone following the feed.
- If it is an unfounded criticism, you can recruit friends and family to counteract the damage done by writing positive comments.
- You can also implement other forums such as a blog or website that will portray you or your business in a desirable way. These can also serve to push the negative comments down on the Google Search results.
- Be the first to learn about future nasty comments by subscribing to the free service, Google Alert. This way, you will be notified every time someone has written about you or your business. Make sure you set up alerts on your name, your company name, and the URLs to any of your websites or blogs.
- Hire a company that specializes in managing on-line reputations. They know and use all of the most effective methods to ensure that your internet image remains blemish-free. And this means one less thing for you to worry about.
The best way to ensure your reputation remains untarnished is to conduct yourself and your business dealings in a professional manner. Run damage control before the negative situation gets drastically out of hand.