The negative impact and overall costs of having a poor reputation is often underestimated and can drag your business through the mud. We all know the story, someone chooses to join hands with you for some business deal but before finalizing the deal they will “Google” you and your business. If you happen to have some negative publicity from some unhappy previous customers then there is a high chance that deal will fall through and you will be left scratching your head about what happened.

Online reputation management is something every business needs to consider in order to build your company a strong image and protect it from getting maligned. It is important to make it a point of conserving your assumed good reputation because repairing a bad one could be difficult and takes quite some time.

The reality is that dissatisfied clients or customers are 60% more likely to write a review about their experience compared to a satisfied customer. It has been estimated it takes about 12 positive reviews to offset the bad reputation gained from a negative review. Business reputation matters and it is vital to your company’s success.

Do a quick search to see what is showing up on Google when you query your business. Do not feel overwhelmed when you see 100’s of thousands results for you search; the first websites that show up are the most relevant. Besides, it is unlikely that a potential customer will search more than the first few pages of results and Google has a habit of getting those negative reviews to show up on the first page. You must also search different search engines along with trying to add some keywords after your business name like: review, experience or feedback. If you are able to find some negative reviews it is imperative that you immediately start to do some damage control.

Ignoring negative comments about you or your business will only make the situation worse  while the bad review reaches more and more potential customers. Respond to the comment promptly but tactfully. Make an attempt to empathize the situation of the client by completely understanding what occurred to cause their bad experience.

Do not get defensive with the client or other readers and reassure everyone that this is by no means a routine occurrence. People realize that misunderstandings happen from time to time when doing business and by you simply addressing the situation will usually go a long way towards repairing your bad reputation.

In addition to acknowledging your bad reviews you need to be proactive in receiving positive reviews. Invite your customers to review their experiences on all the different social media platforms available. Positive reviews will quickly outnumber the negative ones and that will boost your overall reputation. You also need to be active across all social media with providing updates to your products or services, interacting with the public and engaging potential customers.

In a nutshell, just be sure to closely monitor what is being said about your brand. There are even add-ons and different types of software available that will alert you anytime your company name is mentioned on any type of social media or website. This is a great way to stay on top and resolve immediately any bad reviews your receive.