Doing business in a world that is connected electronically means the good and the bad can be magnified many times over. Whether the experience was good or bad, real or perceived, fair or unfair, comments on your business will end up online.
Online comments can help your business grow by enhancing its reputation, or they can be so damaging that the online comments may result in the loss of perspective clients. Because businesses know the power of a review, the question of whether or not you can remove comments from different platforms on your own comes up quite frequently. The short answer is that you cannot remove a negative comment or review as it can only be done by the person who put that comment in place.
With the wide variety of social media and various search engines, there are only a few ways customers find the service providers they want and decide who to trust. More often than not, an online search is done when a service provider such as a plumber, exterminator, roofer, lawyer, doctor or anyone else is needed. Studies have shown that today’s customers rarely search past the first page on any search engine, which makes it important that a business is listed near the top of the search engine results page. Therefore, it is imperative to have search engine optimization keywords on a website so that Google recognizes those keywords when a person is searching for a particular service. A website that is well optimized for search engines speaks the same language as its potential visitors. Once a company is listed highly on the search engine, the next thing many people look at is the reviews. Negative reviews will have them moving on to the next company without ever giving the first one a chance while positive reviews will invoke confidence and have customers calling the company immediately. Since reviews are very powerful, many companies have strived to learn how to put their positive reviews near the top of the page and remove the negative ones. Unfortunately a negative review cannot be removed by the company, but they can be removed by the person who posted them. When a company receives a negative review action needs to be taken instantly. Within a short period of time, the company owner or manager should reach out to the person who posted the review or comment and discuss a negotiation for an exchange of goods or services in order to have the negative comment removed. If the business is unable to satisfy the negative poster, it may be a good idea to answer their negative comment online to show action was taken when an error was made. Negative reviews can however be buried and swept under the rug by drowning them out with positive reviews. The more positive reviews the better, as they will take precedence over the negative ones.
Human nature is that a person is more likely to speak about a negative experience as opposed to a positive experience. That explains why most online comments are negative. Therefore, it is beneficial to have satisfied customers post online comments, whether giving a testimonial directly on your website or a review on your Google or Yelp page. To make it convenient, it is always a good idea to send customers instructions and a link to post reviews on Google and Yelp. A business that has various social media badges on their website makes it easier for customers to put the positive reviews online.
Of course it’s also important that companies monitor their name and any associated online traffic on a regular basis. There are several search engine tools that can be used to do this as well as ways to monitor public posts on social media for any mention of the company. The reputation of a company can be its greatest asset or its weakest link. It’s more important than ever that any company that wants to stay in business monitors their online reputation and knows what’s being said about them.
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