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Taking Charge of Your Online Reputation

Starting a business today poses many threats, and unfortunately, negative reviews are among them. Social media, blogs, and review sites like Glassdoor and Yelp allow anyone with an opinion to openly share it, often shining an unfavorable light on your company.

According to recent studies, almost 90 percent of customers decided not to do business with a company due to negative online reviews. Don’t fall victim to the negativity. Instead, it’s important to understand how to combat these negative reviews with proficient reputation management practices.


Establish a Positive Online Presence

Before thinking about negative reviews, work to create a positive image from day one. That is, connect with influential people in the media. Gain familiarity with newspapers and magazines that will put out positive stories about your company. Be active and attractive on social media – reaching out to your customers and posting helpful, useful information.

Establishing a healthy, positive branded image will help long-term. Also, make sure that you have good internet marketing in place to increase your visibility in a positive light. A solid SEO foundation will help make negative reviews less relevant.


Negative Comments

Sites like have specific policies in place to ensure their reviewers are providing accurate information. They require each user to validate their email address and actively monitor fraudulent activity. You can you deem inconsistent with their policies and  but Glassdoor will not remove your company from their website. Best practice? Combat that review with a positive reply.


What Does a Star Rating Really Mean?

Seeing a 1-star review is enough to throw any manager into shock/damage control mode. However, it’s important to know what these star ratings really convey. Most rating sites are on a scale between 1 and 5 – except how often are companies really 1-star or 5-star worthy? Usually when a customer is posting a 1-star review on Yelp or 1-star rating on Glassdoor, most end-users discount this review and see it more as a “rant”. Your typical customer or employee will post 2-4 star reviews, so be aware that these are the most reliable and consistent ratings.


Turning Negative Reviews into Positives

Sure, a natural reaction might be to respond to negative reviews by aggressively defending your business. However, the best thing to do is to reply courteously. Use this as an opportunity to show your exceptional customer service skills. Legitimate customer reviews and complaints might highlight the flaws in your business and can help patch up problems. Respond with an apology and ask how you can better serve them in the future.

In some cases, it’s best to contact that person privately to resolve the issues if they don’t seem to be backing down. Regardless, don’t forget about the situation. Being proactive to monitor and build your reputation is extremely important.


Should You Put Your Business on Glassdoor?

Glassdoor is gaining popularity…fast. This review site is a bit different from the rest – previous employees actually write the reviews rather than customers.  Again, putting your business on Glassdoor is a risk as it will yield negative and positive reviews. However, you can use this site to your company’s benefit. Respond to negative reviews by thanking them for their opinion and writing a professional response. Also, highlight the positive reviews that employees have left. It’s important, however, not to be too critical on harsh reviews and too praise-worthy on positive ones. This looks unauthentic and Glassdoor will most likely remove these posts.

Reputation management is an extremely important aspect of your business. It’s very rare that a company escapes the wrath of negative reviews completely. Fortunately, there are ways to stay ahead of the game and respond to these reviews in a positive manner that may help you gain respect in the industry. 


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