I frequently talk to business owners and managers who are unconcerned about the possibility of
online bad reviews. They seem assured that their customers will talk to them about any dissatisfaction before resorting to leaving criticism online. Some feel that their business is too small to be attacked online. Others think that since nobody has received permission to review them on the Web, then no one will.
All of these perceptions are flat wrong. There are lots of people who might leave bad reviews for you online, and all businesses are at risk of a reputation attack. In sorting through potential suspects, the police look at “motive and opportunity” to determine who might have committed the crime. For businesses, there are always people with the motive and the opportunity to steal your good reputation. The questions that you need to ask yourself are these.
- Could any of my customers be unhappy with my business?
- Could any of my employees or former employees be unhappy with my business?
- Do I have any competitors who might say bad things about my business?
- Do any of these people have access to a computer?
Think about your own business situation. Do any people have a motive to try to harm your business online by posting bad reviews? Do any of those people have access to a computer? If the answer is “yes,” then you need to take action to protect yourself and your business from unwarranted attacks.
You need to start a program to identify your loyal customers and then ask them for recommendations on the Web. You also need to implement an active customer feedback program to identify any discontented customers and then take action to address their concerns. You should also actively monitor your reputation in those areas of the Web most likely to be visited by your customers and prospective customers, and you must respond promptly when you are attacked online.
Ignoring your online reputation is like buying beachfront property on the Gulf of Mexico and then ignoring the need to purchase hurricane insurance. It’s not a case of if a storm will strike, it’s a question of when. For businesses, it’s not a case of if you’ll be attacked online, it’s only a question of when.
Contact Rust Reviews if you want to take action now.