Whether you’re an online business or not, the Internet can house some interesting information about your company. Anyone has the ability to post a comment about your company and/or your employees, making it imperative that you’re on your A game at all times. But what if you or someone at your company has an off day? What if you sign on with the client from he%$ who will never be satisfied with anything you provide, regardless of your efforts? What if you’re doing everything right but your nasty competitors post negative comments about you online that just aren’t true? We’ve heard every scenario in the online reputation management book and we feel for you! Here are the top 3 ways to handle a negative listing on your company.
1. Hindsight is 20-20, right? I don’t want to frustrate those of you who are reading this article after you already have a negative listing ranking high in the SERPs, but the reality is that companies like Ripoff Report are out there. You can’t change the past but you can surely prepare for the future. Construct a clear and concise way for your customers to talk to someone if they are unhappy with their purchase and/or experience with your company. If they have an avenue to voice their concerns, they likely won’t feel inclined to have verbal diarrhea about their negative experience online. Even if you cannot give them their money back, at least offer them a discount on a future order or SOMETHING to let them feel taken care of. It could save you much heartache down the line to give a little to your unhappy customer.
2. Limit your responses! The search engines love something called user-generated content (UGC) and every time you respond to a negative comment on a site like Ripoff Report (or any comment online, for that matter), you are increasing the “activity” and UGC on that page. This shows the search engines that this page is current and fresh and they will rank it high up in the SERPs. The more you respond, the more the unhappy customer will respond and therefore, you might leave this page so “current” that it may be impossible to push it off the front page of results. Ideally, you should respond once. Tell the client you understand their frustration and that you want to help find a solution to their problem. Tell them to CALL YOU to discuss the issue further so that you take the issue OFF-LINE.
3. Hire an online reputation management company. Sorry to say it, but negative listings are a pain in the youknowwhat and without the help of a company that specializes in pushing down negative comments in the SERPs, you’re fighting an uphill battle. Online reputation companies have connections in the online arena and are able to help you more than you can help yourself. For the minimal investment of $1000-2000 per month, depending on the strength of the negative listing, think of the huge amount of sales you’re missing out on due to those negative listings popping up when your prospective clients are searching online, researching your company. It’s worth the investment.
In some ways, I hate Ripoff Report for the power it has to truly defame a company and cause them severe damage. In other ways, I love the way companies like Ripoff Report give incentives to companies to provide superior services and products. It’s a tough online world out there but there are ways to fight back! Don’t give up!
Give her a company in any industry and she is going to make it successful. Mollie Benton is her name, marketing is her game. Her expertise surrounds the local SEO, Online Reputation Management, Social Media Marketing & Direct Mail Marketing worlds. She’s a regular contributor to and part owner of SiteBumpers.com…and she’s been known to shoot in the low 80?s on the golf course.