You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your company. You’re proud of it, and you’ve just launched a great-looking website to show it off. Your site has cool graphics, easy to read the text, and a knowledgeable customer service staff ready to handle any questions. Unfortunately, given that people are people, there are going to be those who try to bring your company down. There are several ways they can attack you, but, don’t worry, because you have ways to defend yourself.
With Trolls, It’s About the Fight
Trolling is the most common way people attack a website. With trolls, it’s nothing personal; it’s just for the fun of it. They enjoy going from site to site in order to make rude comments and get people riled up. They are fairly harmless and safely ignored. The worst thing you can do with a troll is to respond to them. They are looking for a fight, and they cannot be reasoned with. Talking to them only serves to encourage them. Your site and your reputation are not worth the risk that comes from feeding trolls.
Spammers Want Free Advertising
Spammers are different from trolls. Trolls are looking to provoke you, but spammers are looking for free advertising space. Spammers flood the comment section of a website with links to their own websites. This doesn’t directly harm your site, but it does clog your comment area, which can turn away legitimate customers and keep them from posting positive comments. Adding a spam blocker to your website is a great way to keep out spammers. Moderating comments is another way to keep your comment section clean. Spammers and trolls are always thinking up new ways to attack your site, so constant vigilance is necessary.
Respond Directly to Legitimate Complaints
Sometimes people are going to post comments that seem like trolling but are actually meant as either constructive criticism or are legitimate complaints. Unlike trolls and spammers, these types of comments have to be dealt with directly. Your reputation is on the line, and how you deal with these comments is going to show future customers what kind of company you are. A good rule of thumb is you should never go negative. Thank the customer for their feedback, and, if there is a real issue involved, offer a solution or some kind of way to mitigate the issue (such as a replacement or discounted future service).
Closely Monitor Social Media and Online Review Sites
In today’s interconnected world, there are an ever growing number of online review sites. Anyone can comment on these sites, and it’s important to keep an eye on what’s being said about your company on the sites. In many cases, they are the first place people go to see how your company treats their customers, so they are where your reputation lives or dies. Unfortunately, they are also beyond your control. If an untrue bad review is posted on one of these sites, it is up to the site’s discretion whether they take it down or not.
Beyond online review sites, social media is another place your company has to monitor its reputation. If a customer has a bad experience with your company’s website, they’re going to complain about it on social media. By having an active social media presence, your company is in a position to respond to these unhappy customers as soon as they appear. This quick response shows other potential customers that you are a company who cares about customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Unfortunately, trolls have also found their way into the social media world. As with your website’s comment section, the safest way to deal with a troll on social media is to ignore them. Remember, it’s nothing personal, it’s about the fight. Don’t give it to them.
Be Proactive to Protect Your Reputation
No matter how vigilant your company is, your reputation still might suffer through no fault of your own. Smart companies take proactive steps to ensure the safety of their reputation and to make sure they have built up enough goodwill to survive the occasional negative attack. One effective way for companies to protect their reputations is by using search engine optimization (SEO).
When you use SEO, a reputation monitoring company, such as ReputationDefender, works to create a flood of good news about your company. One of the ways they do this is by publishing articles on carefully selected websites that promote your strengths and accomplishments. These articles are noticed by search engines, and they show them when potential customers search on your company name.
Having a great looking website for your company is important, but the work doesn’t stop there. No matter what you sell or services you offer, your company’s brand and reputation have to be constantly monitored. Don’t let trolls and false bad reviews bring down the company you’ve worked so hard to create. Be proactive in protecting your website. Your customers will thank you for it.