You can remove negative reviews, whether it’s directly or indirectly. Things disappear on the Internet in two ways: either an item is truly deleted from a website, server, and the universe of search engine indexes (e.g. Google, Bing, and Yahoo), or it’s pushed so deep in Internet search results that it’s impossible to find.
At Matador Solutions, we like both methods, and you should, too. According to premier and seemingly forever-old consumer review and monitoring service Nielson, 70% of people trust anonymous negative reviews. Proactive online reputation management will save you many, many headaches.
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Just think about how you make decisions – admit it(!), you seek out negative reviews online, because you want the “dirt.” And who doesn’t?! It’s fun, jeopardizing, and scandalous. The ad men in politics proved long ago that the public may say they hate “going negative” but they love to read, spread, and believe gossip.
Review sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, RipOff Reports, and the like are the gossip rags of the Internet, and since the masses continue to buy the same zany magazines at your grocery checkout, you can bet they’re reading your negative reviews.
SO – let’s remove bad reviews! I’ll give you a three-tip run down, but for more info, you should really give us a call. The truth is your situation is unlike anyone else’s, and everyone else’s situation is unlike yours. Online reputation management cases vary depending on popularity of the client, number of different existing web-presences, total traffic sent to these presences, total volume of negative reviews on the Internet, and approximately 35 other variables.
That said – no bite without bait, so here’s three tips you can bank on:
1. Set up an arbitrary (not representative of you) profile and flag the reviews you think are false, defamatory, inappropriate and overly personal or just plain ridiculous; however, DON’T leave a comment on the actual review page. Your goal is to alert webmasters and forum moderators to a review that violates their own review guidelines, is immensely distasteful, etc., but you don’t want to post fresh content that then strengthens the web-page vis-à-vis your name in search results.
2. Go positive. Everywhere. That means press releases, new websites all about you (that you control), active blogs on your websites, completed social media profiles, email campaigns, active newsletters, and methodologies (organic and/or paid) to deliver traffic to your web-properties.
3. Treat every customer like gold. I’m not just being cheeky here – customers/clients/patients who had positive and negative experiences with your business will leave reviews online. The best experiences produce glowing reviews and the worst ones produce slanderous ones; however, an unhappy customer who then has an exceptionally great experience will often become an advocate of your business.
Bonus tip: Customer service metrics and review protocols are essential for ensuring a business culture that’s customer-centric and, perhaps most importantly, sends feedback straight to you when things turn sour. An unhappy customer is part of the cost of doing business – having one is unavoidable according to the law of probability, Murphy’s law, and just because some folks are impossible to please.
However, surveys, recorded calls, and other methods for monitoring staff-customer interaction can go a long way toward providing you strategic and tactical intelligence on the satisfaction levels of your customers.