Having a good online reputation can mean the difference between getting new business, and missing out.
In the business world, reputation is everything. A person with a sterling reputation is someone who will gain respect, job opportunities, and of course, lots of referrals. A person with a bad rep will end up finding it increasingly difficult to find a job, and may actually find themselves being barred from entering certain associations. It’s no different for businesses, and when it comes to what people are saying about your company online, you can never be too concerned.
The problem with cultivating a good online reputation is that it’s really easy to sully a good reputation, and it can be very difficult to rework a bad one. On average, a person who had a good experience with a company will mention it around 3 to 6 times. On the other hand, a person who had a bad or terrible experience will, on average, complain about it to about 13 other people. In general, people who had a really awful time will be much more likely to complain online, which in turn, tends to stack chips against businesses. In some cases, it only takes one major goof-up to destroy a Yelp reputation.
Obviously, it’s harder to erase an online reputation than it is to deal with people badmouthing the business in real life. If it’s only bad word of mouth, people may forget the name of the business. If it’s online, you as a business owner really can’t delete their comments. They’re there. For a long, long time. So, it’s somewhat crucial that you do work with your online rep.
In some rare cases, a store or restaurant’s bad online reputation ended up causing it to shutter its doors. Many people will research a company, restaurant, or venue before they consider doing business with them – simply because they want to know that they are getting the most bang for their proverbial buck. When you are able to be forewarned about potentially awful experiences, it just makes more sense to check and possibly rethink your choice. After all, if you found bad reviews for a place you wanted to go, would you risk going to them, or would you want to go to a place with better reviews knowing that you probably had a higher chance of having a good time?
For those who are new to online reputation management, the gravity of the situation sounds pretty bad. It often feels like it’s a Catch-22, or that there’s nothing that you can do to keep your company from getting trashed. But, we do have good news for you. The good news is that there are ways to mitigate bad reviews as well as bad press, but it does take quite a lot of effort. In some cases, it may even involve SEO work on the behalf of a reputation management agency. In other cases, it will take a lot of tact when it comes to addressing online concerns. In even more cases, it can be a combination of both.