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Take this exchange, for example. A web designer does some work for a former co-worker and is never paid for his efforts. Then he's asked to do some additional work under the premise "If deal goes ahead there will be some good money in it for you."
Needless to say not only was the web designer unimpressed, he proceeded to explain why and detailed the exchange on his blog for the world to see - and for Google to index.
Are you getting taken to task online by dissatisfied offline customers?Here's the thing - anybody with access to the internet could be saying anything at all about you or your business right now. You have no control over this fact. If what they're saying constitutes libel then maybe you have some legal means of getting it removed, but most of the time what gets put online in relation to businesses is opinion and one side of a bad experience.
So how do you protect your reputation online?
- Always be polite - even offline.
- Try to put yourself in the customer's shoes and understand why they're upset.
- Google yourself occasionally so you know what's being said about you. If you find anything negative on review sites or social media sites go and try and solve the complaints. If you find anything positive, say thanks.
- Never get angry - sure, explain yourself, but don't rise to the bait if somebody's calling you names.
If you respond with compassion to complaints about your business online and make an effort to resolve them, you'll be amazed at how much goodwill you'll generate.