Protecting the online reputation of a business should be among the most important aspects of public relations that a business undertakes on a day to day basis. Negative comments can come from jokesters, legitimately angered customers, or even from the company itself in temporary lapses of judgment. No matter where a negative comment may come from, because of the ease with which it can be found by anyone on the Internet, this kind of thing must be taken very seriously by a company that wants to protect its brand and business online.
Especially when dealing with irate customers, a business should endeavor to be as professional as possible. The anonymous nature of comments online means that a single customer can quickly turn into an unassailable crusade, posting multiple negative comments about a business on many different web sites, and make it appear as though the company has a fatal flaw.
Businesses should not take the bait of answering the irate customer online and starting a war, because this can only make the business look unprofessional, no matter how the customer acts. A business should endeavor to take the conversation private and resolve the issue there. Under no circumstances should a flame war be started or continued by the business.
A business should also do everything in its power to investigate the complaint thoroughly. Many customers that are angry simply want attention, and the knowledge that something is at least being done to investigate the wrong done. Many times, a company that simply apologizes, even if it can not actually fix the problem, can save itself a great deal of trouble from an irate customer online.
A business should also try to address the issue as quickly as possble. The search engines should be monitored for instances of the name of a business so that a company will know as soon as a negative comment or news story goes up that concerns its business operations.
There are many web sites online which specialize in monitoring the online reputation of a business by monitoring blogs and forums which may not show up in search engine results, but which definitely are visited by niche populations of certain industries.
Below are a few more articles and sources on the topic of protecting the online reputation of a business.
- Protect Your Online Reputation Over Customer Billing Disputes
- How To Protect Your Online Reputation
- Protecting Reputations Online in Plain English
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