Today’s culture is hyperfocused on the instant retrieval of information, opinions and news. In many ways, this is a good thing, but it can also be a danger to businesses big and small; it can cause even minor inconveniences and complaints to turn into major, reputation-ruining controversies. Online Reputation Defender (ORD) is incredibly important and can have many benefits, but ignoring it completely can have even greater hazards. The internet is an echo-chamber, and people are far more likely to shout about a negative experience than a positive one.
ORM is about more than just responding to controversy, it’s about working to prevent it in the first place. Without the proper precautions, an dissatisfied customer with a chip on their shoulder or even just an internet troll can easily and thoroughly ruin your chances of ever being able to recover. If you haven’t, say, secured your domain name or your company’s twitter handle, it is trivially easy for someone else to do so and use it to trash your image by just acting rudely or worse, and then demanding ridiculous payments to give them up.
Keeping an eye on reviews and feedback is also incredibly important. According to this article from Hospitality Net,, a one-star increase in the average user rating of a hotel on TripAdvisor or other similar sites can lead to an increase in the perceived value of a room of about eleven percent. This means that a decrease due to someone bombarding your company with negative reviews or simply from customers not being reminded to report positive experiences can lead to a similarly sized decrease in the perceived value of your product or service.
Additionally, with proper ORM it is possible to turn a customer’s negative experience into a positive (or at least neutral) one. However, if you just ignore your company’s online presence, there is absolutely no chance of this happening. In fact, it’s likely that the negativity will just get louder, as the original customer continues complaining because they feel ignored or other dissatisfied customers come out of the woodwork to reinforce the negativity. The echo chamber can get incredibly loud incredibly quickly, and once it’s started it’s terribly difficult to stop.