Congratulations, you are getting your startup off the ground! Maybe right now, like Thomas Edison said, opportunity is dressed in overalls and looks like work, but you have a vision and you are bringing it to life. The last thing you want is someone smearing your name, so we are here to help you out. Here are 5 things that can smear a startup’s reputation:
Negative reviews happen. It’s really not a question of will they, really just a question of when will they. When you get hit by a negative review, will you already have 100 positive reviews, so it is a measly 1%, or have you forgotten to ask for reviews from customers and therefore have nothing positive to balance it out. It is possible, sometimes, to remove negative reviews. It’s even better to be proactive before they happen. Consider offering incentives, such as discounts for honest reviews. Get loads of them.
When you do get hit with a negative review, or negative feedback of any kind, do you evaluate the situation and look for validity. We’ve all heard, “the customer is always right,” but do you just pay it lip service? Feedback is an opportunity for growth, if we use it.
Sure, they are out there and they can ruin your startup’s reputation. Google alerts can help. You can set them up for your name, your company name, or anything that might be helpful to you. We don’t recommend engaging in a fight, however. Verbal banter rarely works with trolls.
Right now you might be more concerned with sales than your reputation, but your sales, especially your long-term sales, depend upon your ability to look further into the future. Consider hiring a reputation management service. Such services can help you with your reputation throughout social media, as well as review sites such as Yelp.
In many businesses, word of mouth is still the largest generator of new sales. In a digital age, it is easy to focus on our digital reputation as the only area to address, but word-of-mouth reputation is at least equally important. If you do hire a reputation management service, they can help you with your verbal reputation as well.
Your reputation is an invaluable part of your long-term success. We hope we’ve helped you prevent it from getting smeared before you’ve really even begun. Good luck!