Whether you know it or not, your company could easily be reviewed on the internet.  The widespread use of the internet has given consumers a medium with which to broadcast their opinions and feelings about your company.  If you are not aware of your internet presence, this negative attention could go unnoticed by you.  In this struggling economy it is important for your business to stay on top of its image and reputation.  A bad online reputation can hurt your business by deterring potential clients and investors and decreasing consumer confidence from current clients.

You should constantly monitor your public image, especially as it is portrayed on the internet.  Customers are researching your company everyday and so should you.  You need to remain up to date on any comment that is written about your company.  From a business standpoint, the publics’ opinion about your company is more important than how you feel about your company.  To stay on top of your public perception, you may require the use of a reputation management company.  When your reputation needs repairing, this type of company can offer services to help maintain the professional image of your business.

It is hard to determine when a negative review or comment will be posted about your business.  A detrimental comment could come from a number of sources.  If a client is dissatisfied with the service or product you provided to them, they may want to vent to others as a warning.  Current and past employees that are unhappy and resentful might want to destroy your reputation and credibility.  Other companies that view your business as a threat will want to remove you as a direct competitor.  These categories of people will potentially publish something negative about you on review sites, comment boards and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The first step to repairing your reputation is to monitor your company online.  You should perform a Google search to find out what is being said about your company on a regular basis.  When a negative comment is made, you shouldn’t be the last to know.  If you find something that isn’t favorable, you should address it immediately.  Ask the user to share more about why they feel the way they do and respond to their concerns in detail in a professional way.  You may be able to reconcile with the person by offering them an explanation of your actions.  You can ask the site or person that complained to remove the comment, especially if the information is slanderous.  If the person can understand your point of you, they may concede.

You can also apologize to the person and offer some sort of conciliatory gift or token.  This could be in the form of a gift card, coupon or store credit.  Most conflict can be resolved if one person shows that they are humble enough to take some responsibility and make what was wrong right.  This can be a great way for both sides to put the matter behind them.

Think about having a professional reputation management company handle these tasks for you.  Contact Optimum7 to assist you with these methods and more to preserve your positive image or improve your reputation.

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