4 Ways a Small Business Can Recover from a Bad ReputationBrian Douglas
As Ben Franklin famously said, "It takes many good deeds to build a reputation, and only one bad one to lose it." The success of almost every small business is hinged on their reputation, which can take years to build. Once a reputation has been tarnished it can be difficult but not impossible to rebuild. The following are four ways a small business can recover from a bad reputation.
1. Immediately Address Customer Issues
Taking care of any legitimate concerns in a timely manner is the first step to rebuilding a tarnished reputation. Even if the company wasn't directly at fault it may be wise to appease an angry customer with a discount, free product, etc. Entrepreneur points out that the public almost always sympathizes with the angry customer instead of the business. If an upset customer complains on a thread where the business can directly respond they should address the customer in a timely and professional manner. This not only resolves the issue with a positive outcome, but does so in a way that the public can clearly see.
2. Don't Feed the Trolls
While a business should normally go the extra mile to make a customer happy, there are some people who won't be happy no matter what course of action is taken. There are people who are simply online to cause problems. Publicly fighting a troll only feeds the beast. According to CIO it's important for a business to ignore trolls so that they will eventually lose interest. While it's not always advised to remove negative comments from social media sites, they probably should be removed from paid ads. If a business has paid for promoted content, the negative comments left by trolls should be removed.
3. Stay Vigilant on Social Media
It's imperative for a small business to monitor social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. When dealing with any sort of problem it's critical to get in front of a situation as quickly as possible. While it's recommended to remove negative comments on paid ads, handling social media is somewhat different. If a business knows they have a good product or service, finding satisfied customers to write positive reviews can sometimes push negative comments far enough down on a thread that most people won't see them. A business, however, should make sure they never post phony reviews or awards.
4. Use a Reputation Management Company
It can be difficult, especially for a small business, to manage all the aspects involved in monitoring their reputation online. A business should hire a company that provides cutting edge software that can assist them in everything from monitoring reviews to engaging customers through a variety of social networks. Reputations.biz can help businesses verify online listings, improve visibility, and retrieve comments and ratings from all major review sites. We also find mentions from blogs and news sites. With everything a small business owner is juggling at once it's important to find a company that can assist them with rebuilding and maintaining a great reputation.