Do people google you? Do you ever take into consideration that your reputation is being examined by complete strangers? In fact, you’ve probably Googled people and companies a few times yourself, because that’s what clients do these days. In order to avoid pitfalls and wasting money, research is usually done before services are hired. Now the question turns into – what does your reputation look like?

It’s not really fair, but users tend to search for the negatives before they even look at the positives. For some reason they feel there is more honesty to be found with an unsatisfied opinion. What can this reason possibly be? Because fake reviews are easy to buy. What kind of company will spend money to get negative reviews?

This is why reputation management has become so important. Even though you can’t make the negative opinions go away, you can overshadow it with positive ones. You can project an image that brings a balance to some clients who are just being spiteful. It’s also pretty common that competitors post bad things just to add fuel to the fire.

image of person whispering to someone's earWith the right management approach, you can defuse most of the negativity while building a healthy profile. The first place to start is to find all the bad reviews and responding to them. Even though users are usually very insightful in spotting unfair claims, it’s not really obvious in one comment. You want to stretch it out and make it clear to everyone the user might have other motives. By keeping calm and empathizing with the user, you are in the driver seat of the conversation.

If it happens that you did make a mistake, and the review holds merit, take the punch and move on. But take the punch with a good response. Let everyone know it’s a problem they won’t have in the future. If there ever was a good time for investing in reputation management, it would be now.

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