If you are a small business owner that depends on customer reviews, like a restaurant, you may have run into issues with disgruntled employees or angry customers writing negative reviews on sites such as Yelp, Google, or Tripadvisor. Unfortunately, these sites are well-optimized for search engines, and can often show up if someone is simply searching for information about your business. Therefore you need to be prepared to (1) monitor the online landscape so you know when these reviews are created, and (2) have a plan in place for how to deal with them. If you have any questions about an issue you are facing, feel free to drop us a line. If you are preparing your online reputation strategy, or already have negative reviews, you can follow the steps below to start fixing the problem. Feel free to contact us (Phone: 707-234-5365 or email here) if you need any help thinking through the issues.

  1. Engage your ambassadors! You can’t delete bad reviews, because the information is owned by third-party sites. So the best way to deal with negative content is to create lots of authentic, high-quality content that will show that this customer experience was an outlier. Create an ambassador program that identifies, engages, and incentivizes your best customers, so that they are encouraged to create content online. Sometimes all you need to do is ask.
  2. Create and manage your social profiles. How do I protect my personal online reputation? (don’t worry, there aren’t any bad reviews out there!) If you search the web for “Andrew Krebs-Smith” (my name), you will see many profiles that I created, and currently control. Although you can’t delete a negative comment from a site someone else owns, you can create more online business profiles on sites like Pinterest, Flickr, Twitter. This will push negative content into lower visibility.
  3. Address consumer concerns! Even if you think this consumer is crazy, it’s important to address their concerns to show other parties that you try hard to make all your customers happy.
Here are some common situations where you might want to think about your online reputation management:
  • Restaurants trying to get rid of bad reviews
  • Litigation that a company (or person) might want out of the public eye
  • Crisis management
  • Negative publicity
We recommend you invest sooner rather than later in your reputation management strategy, because the content you (or your happy customers) will be better-optimized if it’s around for a while, as opposed to created all at once. Contact us using the form on our website to set up a meeting to discuss your reputation management strategy.


– Andrew


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