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Dima Raketa Explains The Ethical Aspects Behind Reviews Removing for Online Reputation of A Business

Managing online reviews is crucial for successful business operations. Before purchasing a product or service, renting, or making reservations, consumers prefer to research a company’s information online. This can include review websites, Google reviews, word of mouth, independent applications, and social media reviews. However, what if there are numerous negative reviews? Today, Dima Raketa, CEO of Reputation House and reputation management expert shares his vision on ethical aspects behind reviews deleting for business owners.

The impact of negative reviews on potential customers can be detrimental to a business. A recent study by Moz revealed that a company risks losing 22% of potential customers upon encountering a single negative review about their product, service, or company. This percentage increases to 59% when three negative reviews are found, and a staggering 70% when four negative reviews are discovered.

While removing negative reviews generally doesn’t violate the law, review platforms may have specific rules that companies must adhere to. The entire concept of sharing opinions online is to ensure transparency and trust in the business environment. Nevertheless, based on DIma Raketa’s professional experience, companies and brands often fall victim to fabricated negative reviews, false mentions, and malicious publicity.

Identifying the Sources of Online Negativity

Negative feedback online usually comes from three main groups:

  1. Customers. It’s tough to please everyone, especially with a growing customer base. Quick attention to customer reviews helps a business maintain a good image, improve operations, and be seen as a customer-focused provider.
  2. Employees. Sometimes, employees might use questionable tactics to promote a product, creating controversy. Former employees may try to get back at their employers by spreading real or imagined issues.
  3. Competitors. Competitors often aim to harm the reputation of similar businesses and attract their customers. They may use various strategies, like spreading misinformation or creating a negative story.

Monitoring as Strategic Approach

In a world of fierce competition, sustaining a business with a low reputation is challenging. Yet, keeping it consistently high is no easy feat either. A single negative review has the power to disrupt everything. A savvy approach to handling reviews is essential to elevate the company’s reputation and enhance overall business well-being. To achieve this, timely responses to reviews are crucial. Dima highlight four ways to spot negativity online:

  1. Manual search. For smaller businesses with sporadic online mentions, manually checking specific platforms can be practical. Just use any search engine to see what people are talking about you.
  2. Specialized response platforms. Utilize platforms that autonomously monitor the internet, promptly identifying and notifying the business about online mentions.  Dedicated reviews section. Simplify the feedback process by incorporating a dedicated reviews section on the company’s website, making it convenient for customers to share their thoughts. Moreover, it is always good to keep all comments within only one platform — easier to collect, analyze and manage.
  3. Engage the audience. Seek input by posing questions on social media or including feedback forms in regular communications, encouraging customers and employees to share their perspectives.

Can Business Remove Negative Content Online?

Certainly, but it’s crucial to understand that undesirable reviews cannot be simply deleted! They must be addressed, initially attempting to resolve the customer’s issue and only then resorting to other tools for reputation restoration. Deleting comments, reviews, and mentions is possible if they are untrue and fabricated. However, if a review reflects a genuine interaction with your brand, it needs to be addressed rather than simply removed.

Information can ethically and legally be deleted only in cases such as:

  • False review with no supporting evidence. For example, a fictitious employee making false claims or a customer you have never dealt with.
  • Fabricated competitor attack. Bots, negative content, false information in the media – not only unethical but also legally punishable. Consult with your lawyer.
  • User mistakenly reviews another similar-sounding company. This happens when a user mistakenly writes a review for a different company with a similar name.
  • Vague review impacting company image. Deleting such negative feedback is challenging, although possible. Ask the client to provide more details first, and if they can’t do so consider removing it.

Removing such content involves a multidisciplinary team of legal, psychological, IT, and marketing experts. However, before resorting to deletion, it’s crucial to weigh the decision carefully. Often, addressing the underlying issues that led to negative feedback is more constructive than simply removing the comment.

Turning Negativity into a Positive Force

Negative reviews are often seen as a universal evil that business leaders strive to eradicate at all costs. However, Dima suggests looking for the positive aspects within negativity – and it’s simpler than you might think.

Firstly, negative reviews can be leveraged to strengthen customer loyalty. Consider this: you could spend significant advertising budgets to achieve loyalty, or you could proactively work on an individual’s concerns, helping them resolve the issue. When other customers witness this, it can reshape their perception of your brand. Secondly, these loyal customers are likely to return for future transactions and share their positive experiences with others. Thirdly, public negativity can shed light on real issues within the company. Customers talk about product quality, and employees provide insights into working conditions — time to listen to them.

Dima Raketa states, ‘I guess every company dreams of smooth operation within the market, but sometimes dissatisfied customers and problems arise. Consumer complaints and negative feedback can impact a company’s reputation. It’s really important to know how to spot and handle negativity online. With a smart approach, you can protect your reputation, keep existing customers, attract new ones, and even build a support community. However, think again that almost every negative feedback is a sign to pay more attention to how your business works.’



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