Problem Solved: A Bad Reputation Will Spiral Down Your Business

“The only way is up.”

That’s how it should be for a growing business and even those who have already made their own mark. But when one nasty review reaches hundreds and thousands of current and potential customers, everything else goes downhill. Recovery from a bad review that has already circulated, especially online, is extremely challenging, and what you do always has to be customer-centric, as they are the end-all, be-all of your business.

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Research shows that up to 90% of consumers (Trustpilot) veer away from businesses or companies that they have heard bad reviews about. Whether it’s something they have seen online or heard from their friends or relatives – what people say about your business is very important. Publicity has proven to be both good and bad, and of course, it’s the good side that you would always want to be on.

It may sound impossible – attaining zero dissatisfied customers who can and will say something bad about their experience. There is no perfect product or service, and feedback helps you to improve your future ventures. Whether it’s your packaging, presentation, or customer service that needs improvement, it’s healthy to receive criticism. But controlling them and making sure it doesn’t happen again in the future, that’s something under your control.

So, what are the factors that you can control?

Problem: Google Blacklist

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With Google Chrome being the most used web browser worldwide (Tech Advisor), Google has powered web accessibility for both desktop and handheld devices. When a user looks up your niche, your website will either be at the bottom of the list or will not appear in search results at all.

This happens when Google detects that your website is unsafe for viewing. If your website is unsecured, your visitors may see one of these alerts:

  • “The site ahead contains malware”;
  • “This site may harm your computer”;
  • “The site ahead contains harmful programs”;
  • “This page is trying to load scripts from unauthenticated sources”.

Once one of these alerts pops up when your website is being accessed, it is immediately tagged in the Google blacklist. When a visitor looks up your business niche, your website may either come up at the bottom of the list or not at all.

Solution: Secure your SSL certificates

Even before you get into the Google Blacklist, what you have to do is to make sure that your SSL certificates are up-to-date. When your website is accessed through a browser, the SSL is the one certifying that your website is secured and that the connection between your visitor’s browser and your website is completely secured, as well. CLDY offers AutoSSL via cPanel, which automatically validates and renews your domain’s SSL certificates.

Solution: Verify your website’s authentication through Google Search Console

If you have reasons to believe that you may already be on the blacklist (reduced website visits over a certain period), then your task now is how to get out of it. Google Search Console can help you verify if your domain is authenticated or not – which can lead to your website showing errors when someone tries to access it. If it shows a green alert saying “ownership verified”, you’re all set. But if it shows a red alert with the text “ownership verification field”, the Google Search Console will provide the reason for the failed authentication and will give you the fix so you can correct this from your end.

Problem: Lowered website traffic and social media interactions

As an eCommerce enthusiast, you must make it a point to monitor your website visits and your social media following. In a world of (almost 100%) online transactions and dealings, it is crucial to be watchful of how your online presence is doing on a regular basis.

Solution: Address your customer’s concerns or feedback as they are given

It helps to have a contact form set up on your page so your website visitors can drop you a message without having to leave your website. If you are using WordPress, you can use the Contact Form 7 plugin.

Set realistic expectations on a turnaround time – and make sure to follow through. If you have maintained a routine of clearing your messages within the day, then great! For instances when you may be out of touch for a while, set your turnaround time of 24 or 48 hours (as needed), so that you also don’t overwork yourself and divert your focus to simply answering customer queries.

What you want to prevent is for your customers to think you have failed to get back to them (or even forget that they inquired with you at all), which may affect both current and potential sales.

Solution: Manage your social media accounts effectively

In relation to what is stated above, make sure to check your social media accounts, as well. Every comment and message that your customers and visitors leave on your profile matter. Respond accordingly, as much as possible, in the same manner. If they left you a comment, answer in the same way so they know that you are actively checking your accounts. Keep your notifications on so you are always alert for any activity that occurs on your pages.

Problem: Bad review crisis

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Now, this is for instances when it really can’t be helped. While negative reviews are your opportunity to make your business better, note that one single review could leave a permanent mark.

Solution: Routinely collect positive reviews from satisfied customers

In today’s market, online transactions are mostly the go-to for every consumer. On some platforms, the customer is asked to leave a star rating to determine how they liked the service and/or the product. The customers would also be asked to leave some comments. Encourage your satisfied customers to leave generous reviews on the products they have tried out. By showing that you value their opinion, it goes to show that you value them as a customer.

Note that when you get one (1) bad review, you need at least twelve positive reviews to “cover” that (Commpro). But if you already have massive good reviews, then one negative review shouldn’t hurt as much. Take reviews from customers who you know you have satisfied fully (repeat customers, patrons who have been with you and stayed with you for some time).

Here are some other tips for you to keep your business reputation up:

Be proactive in making your business known

For growing businesses, it may take twice the effort to get noticed by the public. Press releases are essential so media outlets will be the ones to get the word out for you, instead of you doing it on your own. Whether it be your soft opening, a formal launch, or a new product out in the market, having a press release to kickstart the marketing is a very good way to go.

Have a backup plan ready (Always)

When a customer leaves a bad review, there is always one element that they didn’t like. Get to the root of it. Get in touch with the customer so you can make it up to them by assuring them that their feedback has been heard, and you want to hear from them so you can make your business better. If need be, you can always send them a free sample or a discount coupon on their next purchase. These small things keep your business up not only with this particular customer but for other potential customers in this person’s network.

Proactively fighting for your brand and your reputation is something that you will need to keep an eye out for as a growing business. Your name, your products, and your services are always on the line when you release your business on the market. What’s important is you have your eyes peeled for these problems so you can be ready for whatever happens.

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