Brand Reputation Management

Homer Simpson

How can you avoid the potential damage of a disgruntled customer taking to social media?



Imagine you have a 60-year-old family owned business with 3 generations of loyal customers, serving a booming community:

  • You’ve worked very hard over many years to establish a good name for yourself and your company.
  • Your reputation for delivering high quality products or services has allowed you to grow a successful business that is mostly driven by repeat and referral customers.

The idea of proactively building your online reputation has never seemed necessary since business continues to grow year over year and your customers are generally very happy.

Then, one day during the busiest time of year for your business, someone makes a mistake.  A delivery is made to a customer’s home and there is damage done to the driveway.

It becomes a “he said/she said” proposition:

  • The customer is infuriated because they just spent money to have the driveway paved.
  • Meanwhile, the driver states they warned the customer of potential damage and the customer signed a waiver of liability. The load was dumped and damage was caused.

Phone calls and emails go back and forth between the parties, trying to find a suitable resolution.

But because it’s your busiest time of year and you are working hard to satisfy all your customers and not expend all your energy on this one, you just can’t respond promptly enough.

Eventually, this disgruntled customer takes to social media to let the world know just how evil and horrible your business is.

Red Thumb Down

Have you ever seen someone rant on Facebook?

Facebook may seem like a place where everyone tells their friends (who really don’t care) what they had for breakfast or puts up a bunch of pictures of their kids or pets.

But what Facebook really is, is a place where communities connect. Constantly.

People ask their friends questions when they need to buy things:

  • Who should I buy from?
  • Where can I get this?
  • Can I trust this company?

And when they have a bad customer experience, they go on there and rant.   And because everyone enjoys a good old rant, people get involved and add fuel to the fire.

Have you ever watched one of those viral videos of people going nuts at Wal-Mart?

That’s a group of people getting emotionally caught up in whatever is going on while one person stands back and catches it all on their phone.

And the video spreads and the general public perception is that people who shop at Wal-Mart are generally freaking crazy!

How much damage can be done?

Imagine you’re standing in the middle of a forest and someone cuts down a tree.  You’d barely notice it right?

Now imagine your house has 3 trees in the front yard and you cut one down.

You now have this big gaping hole where there used to be a tree!

Negative reviews work the same way.

If you have a plethora of positive reviews and then one unhappy customer starts bashing you, it may be read but it doesn’t hold a lot of weight against all the positives.

But if you have ignored your online reputation the chances are one negative review could stand out like that bug gaping hole in your front yard.

Mediation & Arbitration

It doesn’t matter who’s right

I was prompted to write this post today because one of our long-term clients here at WEB ROI is experiencing a situation very similar to what I’ve just described.

They have a great reputation and have for over 60 years.

So they never thought it was important to invest time, energy and money building a huge array of positive reviews.

But then a single incident caused someone to take to social media and spread slanderous comments about them.

And of course there are two sides of the story but on Facebook where friends are hanging out and everyone loves to get in the middle of a conflict.

Especially when the other party is not even there to defend themselves, it takes off like wildfire.

WSI Milton Reviews

What should you do?

The best way to protect your business from a potentially damaging situation like this is to build a fortress of positive reviews.

Think of it as your protective armour or the high walls of your castle that need to fend off the enemy:

  • Start by searching your company name with the word “reviews”.
  • Then start asking your happy customers to give you reviews.

If you get negative reviews, go out of your way to proactively respond and try to turn those disgruntled customers into raving fans.

Brand reputation is too important to ignore

It is not a simple matter of asking a few people to give you a review and they happily go and do it.

It takes quite a bit of time and energy to contact your customers and get them to do it.

But it’s highly worthwhile.

And if your business has an excellent reputation, why wouldn’t you want satisfied customers to promote that for you?

If your resources are just too tapped out to build your reputation, perhaps we can help!

Give us a call and we can discuss the options.  1-877-793-2794


5 thoughts on “Brand Reputation Management

  1. Curious. When I’m searching for brand building, I start with people that ensure that they proofread before posting and know enough to ask others to proofread before I post it, especially if it’s for business purposes.

    You’ll want to fix: “But because it’s your business time of year…”

    With: “But because it’s your busiest time of year…”* (Also that whole sentence is rather awkward from a grammatical standpoint, with far too many “buts” and “ands”, making it sound like a run-on sentence instead of well written professional advice.

    You’ll also want to change: “Imagine your standing in the middle of a dense forest”

    With: “Imagine you’re standing in the middle of a forest…”

    Dense in the aforementioned sentence is unnecessary. If your goal is to appear and sound well written, don’t use additional words that don’t add anything of value.

    I stopped reading at that point. If I’m going to take professional branding advice from someone, I’m going to do it with someone that’s careful in how they write and what they say. In this instance, that’s important.

    It is unfortunate that your advice was just “drown out the negatives with the positives” and not actual words of advice on how to RESPOND to the negatives as the title of the article suggests. I was looking for great responses to negative reviews or pointers on what to do and what not to do.

  2. I do this every day and have for 15 years. Actually, I have done it for over 20 years. Back in the day when there were just a few blog posts here and there, I always seeded our product (before I worked at the company) with answers to questions, plugging our stuff. Some found it helpful. Some not so much, but it created a little buzz for when I actually did start working for the company. Every day, I like the positive reviews and answer the negative ones. And now, we’re number 1 on Amazon.

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