How to Mitigate Negative Customers Reviews from Damaging Your Online Reputation

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In two previous posts, I showed you a Framework for handling negative customer reviews. I Al Hanzal Local Search Marketingalso provided a post on when and how to deal with negative customers reviews. In this post, I will provide tools you can use in managing your reputation online. Enjoy and prosper.

Google Alerts

How do you know when people are saying things about you and your business on line? The simplest way is to establish a Google Alert about your “name”, your “business name”, etc. Google will use the words you put into the alert and notify you anytime the words appear on the internet. Let Google do the work while you sleep! Go here to set up Google Alerts. They are free. http://www.google.com/alerts

Reputation Management Courses

If you have followed the previous posts on dealing with negative customer reviews, you know there are new skills called “reputation management”. Here’s an outline of one video course that is being offered online. I have no affiliation with the course. I only offer it as a potential resource.

This 1 hour video goes over everything you need to know, such as:
* How to help businesses with bad reviews
* How to use SEO to bump off negative reviews
* What are negative keywords
* What tools are needed to get positive reviews ranking for negative keywords
* How to completely outsource this entire system
* How to remove negative keywords from Google Instant and Bing Instant (My personal case study)

Reputation Management Video

Books

Welcome to the Fifth Estate: How to Create and Sustain a Winning Social Media Strategy [Paperback] by Geoff Liviningston. This book offers ideas on how to manage your social media (your reputation using social media channels). It gets a 4.8 out of 5 stars Rating from Amazon readers. You can do a Google search for additional book resources.

Seth Godin’s Video

Seth Godin is one of my favorite blogger because of his wonderful business insights. Here’s a short video he did with top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and Food Network’s Sara Moulton. They discuss how to turn negative business criticisms into positive successes. Click here to see the short video. 

Local Directory Sites

Most local directory sites offer ways to mitigate or remove false customer reviews. They do not make it easy. They do have processes you can use. Using the local directory’s rules is a good starting point for dealing with false or negative reviews.

In SEO Igloo Blog, Miriam Ellis wrote a blog post guide, Edit, Remove and Respond To Reviews – Tools for Conflict Resolution. Miriam covers the top local search directories what you can and cannot expect from them when dealing with negative customer reviews. Her words introducing this wonderful post say it all “Before you write that scathing review, before you threaten to sue, stop, cool down and read this article. It could save you a world of trouble.”  Blog post.

Here are the top local directories Miriam covers in her post:

Yelp
TripAdvisor

InsiderPages
SuperPages
CitySearch
Yahoo!
Google Places
Yellowbot
JudysBook

Reputation Management Services

You can do a Google Search and find different businesses that offer reputation management services. Five years ago, many of these businesses may not have existed. Today with the advent of social media channels, managing your online reputation has become a valuable service for many businesses.

Conclusion

You have a framework for handing negative customer reviews. You have details on when and how to handle these negative reviews. You now have a list of additional resources that can help you manage your online reputation.

PS

Using Google Alerts for “customer reviews”, I came across two articles. It appears that some people are now striking back against negative reviews.

First Article–Feedback website aims to ‘redress the balance’ of power between customers and businesses. Helen  Gilbert

Thursday 27 October 2011 15:15

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A new website designed to give power back to hoteliers and restaurateurs who have been the victims of negative and falsified reviews has been launched.

www.trustmico.com allows diners and guests to recommend businesses to others based on their experiences. Those who choose not to and have a specific comment to make can do so, but the feedback is sent directly to the restaurant or hotel and not published online.Founder and chief executive Alex Small described the website as an opportunity to “redress the balance”, claiming that customers “currently have all the power”.

“We don’t think it’s fair for businesses to be treated the way they are at the moment,” he said. A customer could blackmail a restaurant into giving them a free bottle of wine to stop them writing a bad review about their meal and the restaurant is powerless because anyone can write what they like on review sites.”

His comments come as the owner of the Evesham hotel prepares legal action against online review site TripAdvisor, which red-flagged the hotel’s reviews and warned that “individuals or entities associated with or having an interest in this property may have interfered with traveler reviews and/or the popularity for this property.” Deborah Sinclair of the Riverside Hotel and Restaurant strongly denies tampering with reviews for her hotel.

Small added that the “main problem” with review sites is that people are programmed to focus on the negatives, not the positives.

“Research has shown that you need to see five positive reviews to make up for one negative, so when you take negative reviews out and make something about recommendations you make a big difference to the business,” he said.

Second Article  How Online Reviews Can Kill Your Business in 5 Minutes

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Al specializes in helping small business owners use a variety of internet tools to promote their business on the internet and get more customers.
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