Boston
(Financial District), MA

265 Franklin Street Suite 1702
Boston, MA 02110

by Barbara Beauregard
6/24/2019 9:25:05 AM

Repairing a Business’s Reputation After Negative Reviews, Scandals, and More

Zig Ziglar, one of the world’s most popular motivational speakers, once said about business reputation: “If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they will do business with you."

Your company’s reputation is one of its most valuable assets. Company reputations can also be easily damaged, especially in a hyper-connected world of online reviews and speedy news cycles. A careless mistake could upset a customer, you could promise something that simply can’t be delivered on time, a hacker could breach security and acquire sensitive information, and the list goes on. Once news gets out, you may be left scrambling to contain the fallout.

Regardless of how your company’s reputation was damaged, remember that in most cases it can be fixed. Use the following framework to repair your company’s image, and then take steps to protect it once the damage is contained.

Assess the damage to your brand by analyzing media coverage

Before going into full damage control mode, you need to understand how badly your business’s reputation was damaged. To get a pulse on the situation, set up Google Alerts for your name, your company’s name, and any other relevant terms.

You’ll automatically receive an email alert whenever your search terms are mentioned online, which makes it easier to analyze how negatively your company is being portrayed. Once you have a better understanding, tailor your approach accordingly.

For example, a small mishap may not require a full-blown reputation management effort if the damage is minor and short-lasting. Other more serious issues, like financial fraud or a data breach, will need a more strategic approach to reputation re-building.

Read online reviews, comments on news articles, and other types of feedback

When your reputation is on the line, you want to know what news stations, blogs, and other media outlets are saying about your brand. However, it’s equally important to monitor what your customers are saying. So, during your initial research, don’t forget to pay attention to their feedback.

When a story has received substantial press coverage, the public is more likely to comment

Social media pages and the company’s customer support inbox are two other places to check for feedback.

Create a recovery plan (and think about the big picture)

Now that you understand the scope of the situation, it’s time to craft a reputation management response.

Based on the nature of your situation, some components of a reputation recovery plan could include:

  • Asking satisfied customers to leave positive reviews about their experiences. With enough glowing feedback, you can eventually limit the impact of unsatisfied customers.
  • Crafting a public apology, including sharing an outline of the steps the company has taken to fix the problem and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
  • Offering unhappy customers a discount or freebie.
  • In the event of fraud, firing the fraudster can ease concerns.

Of course, you can’t just ignore all those negative comments. Show disgruntled customers that you care about making things right by responding to their concerns and apologizing when warranted. To learn the best practices for responding, don’t miss this article: Keeping it Positive – Responding to Negative Online Reviews (you’ll even get some helpful hints on dealing with trolls).

Related

Additional Resources to Help Grow your Small Business

White Paper

How Mail Services Help Entrepreneurs Succeed

In today's mobile economy, digital entrepreneurs often work from varying locations. While this can help save money and increase agility, it comes with one big drawback:

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants Provide a Competitive Edge

Countless small business owners rely on remote assistants or offsite receptionists to help with critical organizational duties. While some are content to offload simple tasks to self-employed, stay-at-home support people, others demand more comprehensive services...NULL

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants & Remote Assistants: A Comparison

While the traditional virtual assistant is likely to work from home, an executive-level virtual assistant is part of a greater brick-and-mortar presence. This fundamental difference opens the door for extensive training opportunities that broaden the professional's support capabilities.

Read More >
White Paper

Overview of Virtual Offices, Executive Suites and Co-Working Spaces

Work has changed. In an age of instant communication, cloud-based applications, and workplace versatility, the era of the traditional office culture has come to an end. Providers of virtual offices, executive suites and co-working spaces have effectively liberated the nation’s work culture, adding dynamic and energizing new choices...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 1 of 4: Introducing the SBA

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, navigating the tricky terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a major challenge. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs and operators have access to one of the most effective resources in the worldwide market...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 2 of 4: Starting a Small Business

Navigating the complex terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a challenge for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs have access to one of the most effective resources in the world via the Small Business Administration (SBA).
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 3 of 4: Managing a Small Business

Congratulations! You have gotten your small business up and running. Now what? This part of our four-part series on leveraging the Small Business Administration to help you launch and manage a small business will focus on the operational aspects of running a business. Whether you need leadership strategies, day-to-day decision making skills
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 4 of 4: Marketing, Sales and Contracting

Understanding marketing and sales as well as the technical complexity of our Internet-driven society gives entrepreneurs a distinct advantage over the competition. This final segment of our four-part report will take a deeper dive into the logistics and philosophy of marketing and sales and their impact on your business success.
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

DIY Marketing Tools

If a business isn’t marketing, its potential customers are not finding it. Small to medium size businesses often struggle with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing. New DIY marketing tools, however, have eliminated the need to spend astronomical amounts on online and traditional marketing. These tools
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office for Legal Professionals

Law firms (large and small) and solo legal practitioners alike can use virtual office services and spaces to run their entire legal operations or as a supplement to a home office or traditional brick-and-mortar offices. Virtual office services can be particularly useful during trial preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Finance & Tax Professionals

Finance and tax professionals, whether they work solo or as part of a larger firm, can use virtual office spaces and services to stay on top of their workloads, especially during the busy tax season. Professional virtual office spaces can be particularly useful when back-to-back client meetings are necessary...

Read More >
White Paper

Traveling Entrepreneur

As business people and entrepreneurs continually strive to grow their business, doing so frequently involves traveling around the country to attend networking or tradeshow events, meeting clients and prospects on their own turf, and getting some face-time with colleagues, contractors or employees who may operate in a remote location. Preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office Eguide

Have you ever wondered why some small businesses are successful and others are not and what do these successful companies do to gain an edge over their competition? Through our years of experience
... Click to read more

Read More >