Review sites are everywhere on the internet today – local business directories such as Google Places and Superpages and social apps like UrbanSpoon and Yelp, and of course – those strictly negative review sites like complaints [dot] com and RoR (I refuse to link to these sites). If you’re a business owner and you’re not actively monitoring your reputation these days, take a moment and do a quick search for your business name on google, then do it again and add review afterwards….or better still, see what Google’s autocomplete adds on it’s own.
Reviews, Scams, Complaints – oh my.
Even if everyone of our customers love us, that doesn’t mean the reviews being posted about your business will always represent that. It’s ridiculously easy to leave an anonymous complaint on any of these ‘review’ sites, and there are a lot of businesses that have taken the low-road and done just that to their competitors. If you’re one of those scumbags, just know that karma is a b*tch.
If the complaints are legitimate, however, then it’s time to pony up and get to work fixing that reputation before it does your business too much harm. Because unlike those days of old, nothing gets forgotten on the internet. Respond as best you can, and if that doesn’t work then go about producing a ton of content to bury those review sites past the first page of results. It’s tough (and costly) work, but it can be done.
Offline Actions Can Lead to Online Nightmares
So the good news, if there is any, is that you can control the visibility of those review sites on the internet to some extent – or at a minimum, at least post a response to their complaints.
But what do you do if your idiot employee does something ‘offline’ , like enter ‘lady chinky eyes’ as a description for a customer on a pizza take-out receipt?
This has got to be every business owner’s nightmare. How do you ensure that this won’t happen to you?
You can’t, unfortunately. But you CAN be pro-active about instituting a positive workplace for your employees, and help them treat your customers the way they should be treated – with respect and gratitude.