• Startups
  • October 04, 2021

Reputation Management - How To Deal With Bad Online Reviews

Back in the days before Google and social media, the only way a disgruntled customer could express their discontent regarding perceived poor service or products was to write to or ask to see the manager. How things have changed. Today business owners have to manage customer feedback not only in person but on Google reviews, Trustpilot, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a multitude of other websites. Even worse, not all feedback is genuine. It is all too easy for a competitor or just someone with too much time on their hands to write a bad online review of your business without ever having any previous contact with it.

To deal with bad or fake online reviews, every SME needs robust reputation management policies and procedures. 

What is online reputation management?

Online reputational management involves having a clear strategy on how to manage customer online feedback. This includes putting in place policies and procedures to identify:

  • How and when feedback is being posted
  • Who is posting the feedback?
  • How feedback is responded to
  • Reporting fake and malicious reviews

Another element of online reputational management is investing in quality social media monitoring tools such as Hootsuite or Talkwalker.

How to deal with bad reviews?

If you get a bad review, resist the urge to engage in online combat. You could irreversibly damage your brand and your blood pressure. Instead, be professional and polite, thanking the reviewer for their comments. Have follow up policies and procedures in place to ensure the customer is contacted or has the opportunity to contact your team to discuss their feedback. If the review is from someone who has never been a client or customer, make this clear in your response.

What Is a Brand Reputation Audit, and Should Every Business Get One?

A brand reputation audit involves using your social media tools to scan for mentions of your brands and gather them all in one place for analysis. It provides an opportunity to:

  • Identify new consumer groups
  • See how your brand is perceived in different areas/jurisdictions
  • Compare your brand’s online reputation to your competitors
  • Identify flaws in your business processes, e.g. slow delivery times, rude customer service

To protect your brand it is vital to complete regular online reputation audits, and these should form part of your overall strategy.

Final words

The best way to counter bad online reviews is to encourage happy customers to leave positive feedback. Make it a priority to ask all clients to leave a review - if you are getting things right they will be a joy to read.

Get legal assistance from LawBite

Many businesses find traditional law cumbersome; complex to navigate, difficult to navigate and often full of hidden charges. Therefore, it is no surprise that SMEs instinctively turn to LawBite to solve their business legal problems, giving us a 98% service rating on feefo. If you would like to discuss your legal issues with an expert lawyer, you can book a free 15-minute consultation on our website and our solicitors will be happy to help.

Additional useful information

In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

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