Don’t Let Others Manage Your Reputation: Control It Yourself


There was a world before the internet when what your neighbors or your community thought of a business mattered most. When you hear about the old stories of moving to the west, a person’s word meant a lot. But now, in the internet world, strangers create your reputation. There are few ways now to show your reputation:

  • On your website you show your SSL cert or a more personalized version is a KikScore reputation seal
  • Things you can get from membership items like Angie’s List and Better Business Bureau
  • Yelp

The fundamental hole in the current way is that you can’t manage your reputation for your business. If I look at a review and there are 7 good reviews and 3 bad reviews, I am ok with the product. But that is my view. Other people may think differently and may not want to do business if they see any negative review

If you are a good business person, chances are people are writing good things about you in the press, on Facebook, on Yelp and Google reviews. How do you bring these all together and showcase them all on your website and control your own reputation? The important tool that is desperately needed is to take all of these good reviews about your business and reputation and put it on your own website. Maybe these reviews can form part of a publicly recognized scoring system and the important factor being the business owner can contribute to this scoring system.

There are companies like BazaarVoice that help you get testimonials on your websites. The gap seems to be the ability to take multi-dimensional information like good reviews and reputation information and place that on the businesses website so visitors get a fuller overview of the business’ reputation.

Here is some advice from Andy Sernovitz, author of “WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING: How Smart Companies Get People Talking” (April 30, 2012) to  turn negatives into positive customer service moment:

  1. Respond the negative review/complaint. And respond FAST.
  2. Respond like a person not a company. “My name is Jenny…” This will immidiately defuse some of the anger.
  3. Converse. Engage with the customer to to try to fix the problem.
  4. Once the problem is resolved, they’ll be your best WORD OF MOUTH. They’ll tell all their friends/networks/followers how pleasant you were and helpful to make things right.

Of course, ideally we’d all love to avoid negative reviews in the first place. One good way to help defer them from posting? Make sure the positive reviews are posted as well – and often. “Find your talkers,” says Sernovitz. “Ask the happy customers to write a review. But never pay for it!”

I recently discovered a service called Newsle that alerts you when an article is posted about you or your friends. The service allows you to have a widget on your site that pulls in news articles. What would be great is to combine some of these tools like KikScore and NewsLe that a small business can provide a more comprehensive view of their reputation to website visitors. It is about empowering the small business to take comments, reputation information that is scattered around the internet and display it on their website! That way small businesses can use their own reputations and what other people are saying about those reputations on their website. This will give these businesses more control over their reputation and a way for them to gain credibility, trust and show they have a track record of reliability!!!

Do you know of any solution that is already in the market that allows you to showcase your reputation in a fair manner? What tools do you use to showcase your good reviews on your website?

Photo Credit: Flickr 

About Shashi Bellamkonda

Shashi Bellamkonda is a Speaker and Digital Marketing Expert and he is the Vice President, Digital Marketing at The Bozzuto Group whose mission statement is " the best real estate company in America." Bellamkonda is also an Adjunct faculty member of Georgetown University. After several years of enriching experience in the hospitality industry which also included being a chef, Shashi transformed his hobby of computers and technology to his career working in areas like Customer service, Program Management, Digital marketing and Social Media.