Extra Edition / Business Management

Overcoming Bad Reviews: How to Protect Your Small Business Online

Tech Experts Offer Four-Step ‘Reputation Marketing’ Solution

October 8, 2012
online reviewIt happens all the time: The hard-working crew at a small business loses customers thanks to the sour grapes of one person.

It could be a disgruntled employee, an angry customer, or even a competitor, says V. Michael Santoro, coauthor with John S. Rizzo of Niche Dominance: Creating Order Out of Your Digital Marketing Chaos (www.nichedominance.com).

“Anyone can post a bad review online and hurt your business,” said Santoro, who is a managing partner with Rizzo of Globe On-Demand, an Internet technology company. “Unfortunately, most business owners are not even aware that these bad reviews are out there.”

Seventy-two percent of buyers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 70 percent trust consumer opinions posted online, according to a recent Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey.

“A bad review published in a newspaper, or broadcast on radio or TV, is short-lived, but a bad review posted online can live indefinitely,” said Rizzo. “With consumers now researching an average of 10 reviews before making a buying decision, and 70 percent trusting a business that has a minimum of six reviews posted, business owners need to be proactive in developing their online reputation. You need several positive reviews.”

Online searches have been streamlined, combining reviews with maps, pay-per-click advertising, local business directories, and Facebook Fan pages, Santoro said. As damaging as bad reviews can be, positive reviews can be equally constructive, he said.

Rizzo and Santoro offer an Internet marketing strategy called “reputation marketing,” described in the following steps:

Develop a 5-Star Reputation: Begin by asking your happy customers to post great reviews about your business. Strive to have at least 10. Request that each post to one of the following: Google Plus Local, Yelp, CitySearch, SuperPages, YP.com, your Facebook Fan page, etc. This needs to be a continuous process. Proactively ask your customers to post reviews.

Market Your Reputation: Once reviews are posted, use a well-designed online marketing strategy to drive targeted traffic to your website. Ensure that your website can convert this traffic into customers. Additionally, showcase these third-party reviews on your website.

Manage Your Reputation: Regularly check that the reviews being posted are positive. You can use Google Alerts for your business name; however, you will need to check the local directories, too, since they’re not picked up by Google Alerts. By building up the positive reviews, you can counter a poor one by sheer volume. You should also quickly post a reply to a negative review if they occur. Always be professional and indicate what action you have taken to remedy the situation.

Create a Reputation Marketing Culture: Train your staff to proactively ask customers for reviews and to deal immediately with any customer who appears unhappy. A positive culture will encourage customers to post positive reviews about your business.

Publication date: 10/8/2012

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Joseph Groh

Joseph Groh, an industry veteran boasting 35 years of HVAC experience, discusses the 2008 bicycle accident that cut his career tragically short, and how the Joseph S. Groh Foundation is his way of giving back to the construction trade. Posted on Aug. 22.

More Podcasts

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 08-18-14 cover

2014 August 18

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Prohibiting HFCs

EPA is proposing a rule that would prohibit some HFCs in select refrigeration applications. Do you agree with this move?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con