Online Reputation Scams Revisited

Media coverage of online reputation scams is nothing new but interviewing the wrong experts perpetuates misinformation. In this case, we suspect that during marketing efforts a reputation agency identified a problem for a potential prospect and has called to inquire if they could help. Accusing or suggesting a business is planting bad reviews is dangerous ground to tread.

Freedom of speech doesn’t mean it is okay to promote slander or libel. Customer experiences are one thing but dishonest competitor postings and fake reviewers are something altogether different. As the importance of reputation continues the upward trend, this issues will have to be resolved. In fact, we believe that there will soon be more court filings over statements of libel statements which will challenge reviewers and those influence directories posting them without verification of authenticity.

Just because a business doesn’t like reviews posted online is not newsworthy, there is a bigger story behind it and it should be handled more responsibly. Although the career coach (who is not a reputation expert) makes some suggestions, it perpetuates inaccurate practices. Reputation should be a proactive practice not a reactive one and no good solutions or strategies were shared. This particular business doesn’t realize that it is likely to drive potential customers to the competition and lose hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the process.

At the moment, costs to repair, monitor, and manage a reputation are high just because it is so labor intensive. We’ve found that it can take 60-120 days to deal successfully with each bad review. Although you might be able to outrank the bad review with good ones, the problem remains. Creating a good reputation, or rather earning one, is something that takes time. Training staff or businesses to learn how to create a reputation culture is now essential and should be part of the employee manual and best practices in any business..

What would be the best practices on how should this be handled?

  • Business should respond professionally and appropriately.
  • A reputation strategy should be constructed so that customer reviews can be generated.
  • A testimonial showcase page and syndication of good reviews would be wise.
  • A reputation mitigation process on how to handle poor reviews and unhappy customers or clients should be instigated.
  • Monitoring and managing of the business reputation should be a standard operating procedure.
  • Education of the business on how to create and sustain a reputation culture needs to be completed.
  • Once mitigation efforts have progressed, reputation marketing of the good reputation is advised.

Perhaps you know of a business suffering from poor reviews online or maybe your business is facing such issues, if so be sure to take a moment to subscribe to our web-u-cation series or contact us to get help right away.

About ARKtechCo

+ArkLady is a cyber-jungle trailblazer based in California specializing in marketing, reputation, webucation and online business education.