Don’t dig a deeper hole

It is safe enough to say that online reputation management is a difficult thing to get right. The internet has provided consumers with choice and power. There are social media networks and review sites where dissatisfied individuals can vent their spleen. A complaint does not have to have a fair basis for it to circulate. Only a subtle response can limit the damage caused.

At, we help businesses take the necessary precautions to limit unfortunate mishaps. In addition, we have the capacity to provide tailored online reputation solutions. These can be much more effective than a response from within the organisation might prove.

Online reputation management may be more of an art than a science. The type of firm and the nature of its context are crucial things to bear in mind. Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that there are some common errors which can easily lead to a great deal of trouble. For example, staff misuse of social media can constitute a threat to the reputation of a business. Similarly, consumers can be antagonised by the late delivery of goods or services.

Therefore, there is a need to have proper systems in place to prevent problems from arising. Strict policies about the use of social media by employees need to be enforced. Individuals should never leave accounts logged on while they are not present at their desks for instance. Goods should be relayed to consumers via a punctual delivery service.

However, even the best systems will not prevent the occasional glitch from cropping up in most cases. The vast majority of outfits will have the misfortune to be complained about. Complaints come in all shapes and sizes. Nonetheless, they are often profoundly unfair. Just because a negative response to a product or a service is not balanced does not mean that it can be treated casually. Even a silly complaint can be persevered with. This can be detrimental to the interests of the enterprise.

If someone, who was culpable for what is being criticised, elects to respond, they can often overreact. This misjudgement can lead to a site being discredited on a wider basis. It is amazing how a lack of tact or courtesy can impact upon the fortunes of a company. A small problem can be inflated significantly by moves which exacerbate it.

Experts have been conscious of this point for some time. Anxious about a complaint being pushed up search engine results pages or being given added prominence on social media, these experts used to recommend complaints were left unanswered. This could leave people with the feeling that the business had something to hide.

Instead of acting in a way which is tantamount to an admission of guilt, a subtle reply to a critical comment may be the most effective way forward. If the company has made a blunder, an apology should be made. No consumer should be treated in a way which contravenes their statutory rights. At the same time, a consumer should never receive the kind of unnecessary compensation which would lead to copycats imitating their behaviour.

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