How Soon Do You Deal With Bad Online Reputation?

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Bad online reputation affects a business in all its entirety, even an online business. A little bit of bad press can make the trust and integrity earned by firm over the years to dissipate in just a few shares or posts.

Identifying bad online reputation is more important and dealing with it on timely bases is crucial. It can also help you make more money online if handled right.

Bad online reputation simply means negative or damaging review or information about a brand online. If a business is affected by bad online reputation, the impression or visitors or potential customers on it will not be welcoming.

Most people will not do business with a brand that has bad online reputation. Or, in the worst case scenario, damaging information about a brand can spread to others. Therefore, bad online reputation should be avoided and dealt with squarely.

Dealing with damaging or bad online reputation begins with understanding why it happened in the first place. Some could be true and others could be wrong. For some businesses, negative information could arise:

> When a misunderstanding with others is overblown out of level
> When the business has broken certain laws and/ or breached certain legal issues
> When there is a bad news or negative press about the company that refuses to go, etc.

Aside from understanding the reasons for bad reputation but online, it is important to understand the forms on which damaging reputation occurs.

These include bad reviews, social media mistakes, negative search results, etc. In all its ramifications, bad online reputation is damaging or destructive.

To avoid bad reputation or to manage online reputation it becomes necessary to deal with it, and dealing with it on time becomes vital.

Some damaged reputation should be repaired on time because if there are delays, the consequences may eventually lead to the closure of the business.

So, in your opinion, how do you deal with bad online reputation, and how soon do you deal with such?

93 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Sunday,
    I suggest that as soon there is a trace of bad press or reputation issue online, the business must deal with it squarely.

    This is important because any delay could complicate the issue. A timely intervention is critical for online success.

    So, if possible address the cause of the reputation issue within 24 hours before it escalates!
    Sarah John recently posted…Ask / Discuss Which is Better For Improved Conversion – Changes In Content, Design Or Both?My Profile

  2. Hi Sunday,
    This is an interesting discussion and one that every brand should be mindful of.

    Bad online reputation could be damaging in the short and in the long term.

    Personally, I have had one or two cases that dent my image online. What I did was to quickly rebuff the claim on the first bad press.

    For a second case, what I did was quickly provide evidence to my audience about the real picture of what transpired.

    Hence, the place of proving integrity and transparency would be critical in addressing reputation issue.

    After all, online reputation management should include
    Celine recently posted…Ask / Discuss Which is Better For Improved Conversion – Changes In Content, Design Or Both?My Profile

  3. Hello Sunday,

    This is a very important question you asked, but I think the answer is obvious.

    I’d say you should deal with bad online reputation as soon as possible.

    Or even better, deal with it before it happens.

    You said it yourself, most people will not do business with a brand or person who has bad online reputation.
    Barbara George recently posted…Gone GirlMy Profile

  4. Hmm good point, I have seen it happen a couple of times with our product but what I find in the end if you have a product that satisfies 99% of your customers it will shine in the end.

    If there is enough good press out there to outweigh the bad people won’t pay as much attention to the bad. I think most people go for a second opinion when they see bad stuff. Then again if you are getting a heap of bad press then maybe there is something wrong with the product or service.

    Personally I tend to err on the positive side and try it out for myself because there are so many trolls out there, it’s hard to believe everything you read.

  5. Hi Sunday.

    In most cases, there is little that you can do to correct the information. Most blogs and news outlets will not change what they’ve written about you unless you show that it is factually inaccurate or legally libelous. If The Chicago Tribune wrote something that makes you look like a sissy or a moron or just plain cruel, too bad!

    If it was that easy, Donald Trump would remove half of the Internet!

    I had a lady come to me because her name was implicated in a political scandal. She was totally removed from the scandal part, but because her budget was part of the politician’s scandal, she got derided in a couple newspapers.

    Imagine what employers thought when they Googled this lady’s name and all they found was that she was connected to a political scandal. Although the reporting was nasty (sells more papers!), there was nothing technically inaccurate in what they said. So, too bad.

    I had another client who had some politically strong opinions. She was a freelance journalist. More specifically, she was a freelance journalist with a stalker who disapproved of her views and was not afraid to write nasty things about her. I was able to push all those nasty things to the second page of Google, but it was not easy. It never is.

    In most cases, the only way to fix a bad online reputation is by creating pages to outrank the bad news. That’s not so easy when the bad news is on high authority websites. You need to suddenly become newsworthy for something more positive, and build up some very strong social media profiles. These things take time, and sometimes they just can’t be done.

    So, while we all agree that we should act ASAP, the fact is that in most cases, the best you can do takes time. But that is no reason to delay; the sooner you start, the sooner you can see the bad news slide down to the second page.

    One tip: don’t try to push bad news down by creating a Wikipedia page. I just wrote an article for PR Daily on that very topic. It should publish in 3-4 weeks time, and then I’ll be pleased to share it here when it does.
    David recently posted…My favorite online research tools for writersMy Profile

  6. Hi Sunday,

    This an important post and lots of good responses.

    What about those times when a company gets wrongly accused because of a disgruntled customer who knows how to use social media to their advantage?

    Such customer can easily spread bad things about the company, particularly using review sites to their advantage.

    What do you suggest in such instance?

  7. Hello there Sunday,

    I have enjoyed and learned from the many comments in this post. I agree with most of them.

    As for me, this is simple to answer: deal with bad online reputation as soon as possible, not longer.

    The longer you wait, the likely it will get worse, particularly with how easy it is for bad stuff to spread online.

    I think also that the best way is to provide great customer support for what you are selling, whether product or service online.

    If you resolve problems that your customers have, and resolve them quickly, that will help prevent or reduce problems.

    And if you have no problems or few problems with your customers, that can even prevent bad reputation or deal with it if it happens.

    Thanks for this post.

  8. Hey Sunday!

    Great topic here!

    I would say; that you should deal with negative reviews and comments right away. Because, that shows how aware you are of the growth of your business.

    Most often than not, it is only when a business is growing rapidly that some negativity starts to arise among customers. There will always be those people who just like to complain and be negative.

    Name one company or successful business that does not have one single negative review or comment ….. it would be hard to find such successful company.

    But, if you purposely did something unethical or just went for the quick bucks instead of really caring about your customers, then this is a different story.

    It would be a lot harder for you to fix your reputation when you knew you were screwing up with your business – compared to a rapid growth of your business resulting on negative customers.

    Big difference there!

    If I damaged my reputation online and for my online brand – because I was careless, then I would do whatever I need to do to make up for it. As soon as possible. That is what I would do, personally.

    One of the first things, which is very important I believe, that you should do, is Admit your wrongs. Admit it to your customers and to yourself, that you have been screwing up with your business and brand – it’ll be much easier to move forward in the right direction from there.

    Here are my 2cents on this topic, Sunday 😉

    Good topic to talk about man!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Have a wonderful week! 😀
    Freddy G. Cabrera recently posted…Learn How to Become a Social Media Rockstar by Implementing 5 Powerful Tips!My Profile

  9. Hello Sunday,

    This is an interesting discussion you got going here.

    I’d say to deal with bad online reputation situation as quickly as possible.

    Some issues get out of hand when not addressed quickly. No one wants that.

    Some say it doesn’t matter if it’s not true, but even if not true, you should address it quickly before it spreads out of control.

    Lies spread even faster than the truth, if not addressed quickly.

  10. Hello Sunday,

    I too, say deal with them immediately. Do not wait one second less. Assess the situation. Find out why someone feels the way they do and what can you do about it. Especially, if it is concerning a business.

    I have seen people online try to discredit network marketing companies by saying they are scams just because they did not have any success with it. Mainly, due to the fact that they did not want to put in the time and effort to learn how to build a business.

    I think that people can see through the lies. A scam wouldn’t be in business for very long. The best way to deal with a situation like this is by remaining positive. Do not stoop to someone’s level of ignorance by responding negatively.
    Maketta recently posted…7 Crucial Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for BusinessesMy Profile

  11. Hello Sunday,

    I am with those who say to deal with bad online reputation asap! I think the longer you have to wait, the worse it can become.

    As you also said correctly, damaged reputation should be repaired on time because if there are delays, the consequences may eventually lead to the closure of the business.

  12. Hello Sunday,

    I haven’t ever had to deal with bad reputation online but if the time comes to deal with it, it will be right when something wrong happens.

    Others who said same thing are right, I guess. Maketta above said it better when she said: deal with them immediately, do not wait one second less!
    Yan Yan Chan recently posted…Overexposed.My Profile

  13. Hi Sunday,

    Really I always enjoy reading your valuable content.

    A good or bad online reputation can make or break the entire trajectory of our online business`s future.

    It is very important for any business to maintain a good online reputation all over. we should do our best to make our brand popular so that we get the right exposure.

    Thanks so much,
    Omar

    • Hi Omar,

      You are right, our online trajectory can be affected positively or negatively by the perceived reputation we have.

      At all cost, good online reputation must be maintained to give us the right exposure in the eyes of the world!

      However, if a bad reputation is cast on us without our making, then we must be bound to deal with it sooner than later.

      Delaying action on it will cause more damage we never fathom!

  14. For overtime i want to buy a new product/service online, i hinge my final decision on what people who have used that product or service left as a review.

    A lot of businesses out there do little or less to keep a good reputation online, and consciously or unconsciously, this affects sales. It is important to keep a healthy relationship online, especially in situations where you have an unsatisfied customer, it is important to be patient enough to give proper explanations as to why things happened the way they did, at the end of the day, even there is no refund, you would have done a good job of putting his/her mind at rest while avoiding a negative review.

    Great Post!
    Mark Benny recently posted…Poultry Production systemsMy Profile

  15. Hi Sunday,

    Dealing with bad online reputation is very critical. I align with the opinion of those who stated that the sooner it is dealt with the better.

    Knowledge of the cause of the reputation is critical before making decision on what steps to make in rectifying the damage.

    Thus, pure clarity of what caused the damage must be known before dealing with it!

    • Hi James,

      Dealing with online reputation faster will save the individual or brand from a lot of stress.

      Yes, it is important to identify how the ‘bad reputation’ came about in the first place and from here we can expect to do the repairs!

  16. Hi Sunday,

    The answer to this question is simple, as soon as possible. The sooner we start dealing with negative press the better for us!

    We must do all that is ‘necessary’ to keep our reputation intact.

    To begin with repairing negative press, we must right all wrongs legally!

  17. Hi
    You could take the approach that Sir Richard Branson had and maybe still has, that no media coverage is bad as it gets you into people’s awareness. But of course he was able to use his personality to turn all the negatives around and come out on top.

    I think that taking initiative and responding to negativity swiftly, professionally without adverse ranting will go a long way to saving your online reputation. And so the way we respond will keep us looking good in the eyes of the internet world.

    Many thanks for the post Sunday.

  18. Hi Sunday,

    I would think the best time to deal with bad press is right away. In other words you want to go out of your way to present honest offers and give great value for the prices someone pays right from the start.

    Always offer quality content and have the right intentions. This will go a long way to start.

    However, there are just going to be people that give you a hard time. Do your best to rectify the situation right away.

    Offer a full refund if necessary. It is better to lose a little money than having to deal with bad publicity.

    If the person is badmouthing you on a forum, respond politely and don’t give in to name calling.

    Simply state: “I’m sorry you didn’t like our product, it has helped many others but we stand by our money back guarantee and have offered you a full no questions asked refund. I hope you will try us again. If there is anything we can do to make things better for you let us know.”

    So, take precautions to prevent bad press and when it happens deal with it quickly and politely.

    Also realize if you are in business for a while, it is going to happen to you no matter how honest and polite you are. It is nothing wrong with you unless you a knowingly scamming people.

    Take care Sunday and have an awesome weekend!

    John

    • Hey John,

      I give you thumbs up for that amazing contribution! The response was so direct to the point that solution you proffered is very practical.

      In the very least, everyone must respond quickly and politely rectify his image online. While preventing things that would cause bad reputation should be avoided, where we cannot completely do this, then we must deal with it fair and square.

      We must not bring ourselves to the level or feeling of the troller.Or joining issues with them! Lets be fair and stand by our commitment to providing the best we seem fit for the appreciative audience.

      Thanks again for your comment!

  19. Hello Sunday,

    I pretty much echo what Sarah John said and others have mention. If there’s any misconception, or truth to something that has gone awry. I think it’s so important to address such an issue right away, instead of avoiding it which can even be much more catastrophic down the road potentially.

    Obviously, I think this goes without saying. I think prevention is always the wisest course. But, no one is perfect and it’s easy for anyone to make mistake. If one is made, address it right away.

    Thanks

    • Hi Tom,

      Surely, addressing any issue – negative or positive- as fast as possible is crucial for online success. I agree with your take here

      Obviously, I think this goes without saying. I think prevention is always the wisest course. But, no one is perfect and it’s easy for anyone to make mistake. If one is made, address it right away.