SOCIAL MEDIA / AUG. 12, 2014
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Is Your Online Reputation Damaging Your Business?

Ask any business owner and they will tell you that there is nothing more important than customer opinion in regards to their business. These days, customers can broadcast their opinions via the internet and with the help of social media platforms consumer opinion about a business can sometimes hit the headlines. Business owners are now facing a new breed of consumer opinion that can be played out online.

Negative feedback from customers on websites like Trustpilot can make or break a business’ reputation not to mention causing business owners a lot of stress as a result. The Reputation Report by Igniyte details the plight of 500 UK business owners, the digital landscape has transformed the traditional consumer business relationship in regards to how customers can now express their thoughts about a business and how negative online reviews effects businesses and their owners.

Bad Press, Employee Feedback and Social Media Impact on Business

  • 17% of business owners stated that unflattering press coverage about their business is problematic and one in ten business owners reported that social media posts have impacted poorly upon their business.
  • 41% of business owners stated that bad online reviews of their business was damaging to their business.
  • 42% of business owners stated that their former employees were the cause of posting bad reviews about their business online.
  • 52% of business owners stated that their business had been affected by harmful content about their business online.
  • 30% of business owners stated that it was their employees not customers that were to blame for their business’ poor online reputation.
  • 43% of business owners stated that negative online posts by rival companies was damaging the online reputation of their business.

The awareness that these UK business owners have when it comes to having a flawless online business reputation is a good indicator that the shift towards a business’ online presence is very important in the digital age. Other key results of this report show that an overwhelming 88% of surveyors agree with the importance of having a great online presence, however one in five businesses reported that they were not satisfied with the way Google represented their business online.

Coping With Negativity

Additional results of Igniyte’s report show that 36% of businesses had attempted to confront individuals who posted bad online feedback, 45% of surveyors reported that they had made no attempt to get rid of any poor feedback that had been posted online in regards to their business, and 12% of surveyors stated that they did not know what to do about detrimental posts about their business online.

With only one third of surveyors feeling confident enough to keep their business’ online reputation on the right track one in ten business owners stated that they felt they were not skilled enough to do the same and used outsourcing methods to keep their business’ online presence on the right path. Having a very bad online reputation can cost a business £50, 000 according to this survey, so it should probably not be a surprise that one in five of surveyors stated that their business would be committed to tackling the problem of negative online feedback.

As a business owner this report clearly shows that if you don’t have an engaging, positive online reputation your business will suffer the consequences because your customers, competitors, former employees and even current employees can drastically infringe upon your business’ reputation by simply just posting their thoughts about your company online. This doesn’t mean you should censor these reviews, but as a business owner you must learn how to professionally cope with any negative feedback your business receives professionally and try to leverage the criticisms and correct them if you can.

Image credit - Merththuroglu/Shutterstock

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