Can negative comments ruin your business?

Hi there! Today we will talk about company reputation management online – how to deal with negative comments. What should you do if you see a negative comment about your company, how to prevent this and what is the correct way to react.

First of all you should clearly understand that negative comments is an inevitable thing for any company or business. All people make mistakes. All companies make mistakes. Market changes, the environment changes, customer needs change, competition grows. If you aren’t fast enough to adjust to the new requirements you may find some irritated clients talking about the company on the web.

Why is it dangerous?

Angry clients distribute information about your company. If these negative comments reach your potential customers they will never become your clients.

What are negative comments about?

Don’t panic. It is not the end of the world. Negative comment is just a signal that there is some problem that needs attention and action. It is precious free marketing information. Criticism analysing will help to find out what the problem is, what customer expectations are and maybe how you can solve the problem. So don’t be afraid, it will help to improve. All you have to do: a) solve customer problem b) improve business process to prevent the problem appearing again. That simple!

Company reputation risks

Company reputation is very important. Eventually it results in brand trust and sales. So it is vital to know and manage what people are talking about your company. You need a) track what people are talking b) manage the comments and interact with these people.

Track and prevent negative comments

Think of developing a strategy of tracking the comments about your company online. Track forums, blogs, soc nets and industry related resources. This should be performed on a regular basis so that you can react instantly on the messages and prevent it becoming a scandal. There are plenty of tools on the web and you can always ask Google what people think about your company.

Create a separate place for customers where they can interact and express their opinion. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, website forum all is good as long as you can monitor it. Make it explicit that you are open for discussion, that this is a place where they can write what they think and talk to the company. This way you will get customers commenting on your territory where you can track and react fast.

Now let’s get to the issue what to do with negative comments.

Dealing with negative reviews depends on many factors. What is the comment source and motivation, is it an irritated client or a competitor? How influential is the person? Does his comment make sense at all? Can it reach thousands of people? What are the risks for your company reputation and is it worth answering the comment? When you have answered all these questions you will be able to develop a strategy of counteraction, develop the plan of activities, and exactly perform the activities.

No matter what you decide to answer remember to be polite and literate. Comments with mistakes look unprofessional and arise even more irritation.

Note: if you do not improve the product/business process/service you get criticism for no need to bother with negative comments at all.

Can criticism ruin the business? Yes, it can. If you ignore it and do not adjust to the new environment it will ruin your business, unless you are a monopolist of course :)

Conclusions:

Criticism is precious information how to improve – use it!
Negative comments can help build relations with customers
Negative comments management can help establish reputation of a brand that cares about its customers
Tracking and managing negative comments is vital for building successful business.
Have questions? Need help in building the strategy?

Feel free to contact us at +44 (0) 208 123 1778 or +44 (0) 1784 460 064

Author: Derek Mansfield

November 16 2018

Category: Marketing