When negative comments and reviews regarding various products and services are posted online, the potential effects on the reviewed businesses can be quite unpleasant.
In a recent Reputation.com feature article that I just finished reading, the author makes the point that even one negative comment or review can seriously damage a company’s online reputation.
It is mentioned how a company can regularly provide great products and/or services, but if one customer comments about a bad experience, many would-be customers may decide to take their business elsewhere.
A business might be short-staffed because of illness, or a particular employee could have been having a bad day. If an item is out of stock, it could be that there are other issues with the product’s supplier that prevent the item from being in-stock.
For some customers, these inconveniences are enough to make them want to share their displeasure with the world. When consumers who are interested in purchasing certain products read negative reviews from disgruntled customers, or even former or current employees, the effect can undermine every good business practice the company has employed.
Unfortunately, the online side of business for many companies is not as well-managed as their brick and mortar business. It is not uncommon for management at well-respected companies to be unaware of negative online comments concerning their goods or services.
This article states that both B2C and B2B consumers tend to post more comments online about negative experiences than positive experiences. Because the social media sites and popular review sites generally receive high page rankings in search engines, negative comments can be read by many people in a short amount of time.
With the use of analytical skills and monitoring tools, however, a company’s online presence can be kept track of. A prominent financial expert sums it up in this article when he states that online reputation management is the new “big thing” when it comes to business strategies.