News Column

Reputation Changer: Complaints and Defamatory Online Reviews Are Frequently Misunderstood

Jan 31 2013 12:00AM

Marketwire

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NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 01/31/13 -- It is widely known that online review sites and complaint boards, such as Yelp.com and Foursquare, are increasingly popular consumer destinations -- and increasingly influential in shaping consumer behavior and purchase decisions. As such, it is no great surprise that online reviews can directly impact a business' bottom line; according to a recent NBC Chicago report, however, many business owners are slow to accept the reality that, in today's world, online review monitoring and reputation management are essential for success. The report highlights four of the most common myths and misconceptions about online reviews -- and it has won a comment from Reputation Changer.

Reputation Changer is the foremost name in online reputation defense, and in its new press statement, President and COO Michael Zammuto notes that online reviews remain fairly nebulous and poorly understood. "Business owners know that these online reviews are out there, but many of them are unsure as to how those reviews impact their sales -- or, of what they can do to combat unwanted reviews," notes Zammuto. "At Reputation Changer, complaints and defamatory online reviews are regarded as grave threats to any brand's success, and as such, we advocate full education on matters related to online reviews and online reputation defense."

Zammuto goes on to address some of the particular points made in the NBC report. The first myth listed is that businesses are powerless to control the online reviews they receive. The article notes that, while businesses may not be able to exert any control over user-generated content, they can at the very least optimize their profiles on sites such as Yelp, ensuring that they reflect accurate and brand-enhancing information.

Zammuto says that companies can also proactively court positive reviews. "It is true that nobody can prevent bad reviews from happening, but you can work to ensure that, when a bad review surfaces, it is drowned out by dozens of positive ones," he remarks. "Businesses can improve their online standings simply by reaching out to their most faithful customers and clients, and asking them to submit some positive feedback."

The second myth listed in the article is that most online reviews are fake -- and therefore, they have no real impact on a business. "This is absolutely untrue," notes Zammuto. "While it is accurate to say that false online reviews abound, the veracity of a review matters very little when it comes to its effect on a business or brand. We have known of reviews that have been planted by business rivals, or even by disgruntled employees -- and they can still have a major impact."

The most dangerous myth listed in the article, according to Zammuto, is that business owners should respond to all of their negative reviews. "While it is a good practice to respond, publically, to positive reviews and even to constructive criticisms, responding to overwhelmingly negative and unreasonable reviews is a big mistake," he explains. "The reason for this is that a response simply draws more attention to the bad review in question, which only deepens the brand's online reputation management woes."

The Reputation Changer COO concludes by noting that, when beset by bad reviews and online complaints, brands have two real options -- to take a DIY approach to reputation repair, seeking to shore up as many positive reviews as they can, or else to consult with a company like Reputation Changer. "At Reputation Changer, complaints and negative reviews are dealt with promptly and effectively," Zammuto says. "Our goal, always, is to present the client in the best light possible."

ABOUT:

Reputation Changer was developed and launched in 2009, by a team of online marketers and SEO professionals who shared a common goal: To provide companies, brands, and individuals with the tools needed to manage their online image. To this day, Reputation Changer is committed to providing its clients with control in how they are presented on the Web; the company is heralded as the #1 company of its kind, in the entire world.



Source: Marketwire