Reputation Marketing

4 Ways a Small Business Can Recover from a Bad Reputation

recover from negative reviews

As Ben Franklin famously said, “It takes many good deeds to build a reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” The success of almost every small business is hinged on their reputation, which can take years to build. Once a reputation has been tarnished it can be difficult but not impossible to rebuild. The following are four ways a small business can recover from a bad reputation.

1. Immediately Address Customer Issues

Taking care of any legitimate concerns in a timely manner is the first step to rebuilding a tarnished reputation. Even if the company wasn’t directly at fault it may be wise to appease an angry customer with a discount, free product, etc. Entrepreneur points out that the public almost always sympathizes with the angry customer instead of the business. If an upset customer complains on a thread where the business can directly respond they should address the customer in a timely and professional manner. This not only resolves the issue with a positive outcome, but does so in a way that the public can clearly see.

2. Don’t Feed the Trolls

While a business should normally go the extra mile to make a customer happy, there are some people who won’t be happy no matter what course of action is taken. There are people who are simply online to cause problems. Publicly fighting a troll only feeds the beast. According to CIO it’s important for a business to ignore trolls so that they will eventually lose interest. While it’s not always advised to remove negative comments from social media sites, they probably should be removed from paid ads. If a business has paid for promoted content, the negative comments left by trolls should be removed.

3. Stay Vigilant on Social Media

It’s imperative for a small business to monitor social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. When dealing with any sort of problem it’s critical to get in front of a situation as quickly as possible. While it’s recommended to remove negative comments on paid ads, handling social media is somewhat different. If a business knows they have a good product or service, finding satisfied customers to write positive reviews can sometimes push negative comments far enough down on a thread that most people won’t see them. A business, however, should make sure they never post phony reviews or awards.

4. Use a Reputation Management Company

It can be difficult, especially for a small business, to manage all the aspects involved in monitoring their reputation online. A business should hire a company that provides cutting edge software that can assist them in everything from monitoring reviews to engaging customers through a variety of social networks. can help businesses verify online listings, improve visibility, and retrieve comments and ratings from all major review sites. We also find mentions from blogs and news sites. With everything a small business owner is juggling at once it’s important to find a company that can assist them with rebuilding and maintaining a great reputation. helps local businesses reach their goals by building a better and stronger online presence. We do that via reputation marketing, local listings, social marketing, brand analytics and SEO tools/services that make it easier for customers to find and trust your business in local search. Call us today to see what we can do for your business.


Brian Douglas

Brian Douglas has been in digital marketing since 1997 and founded multiple digital marketing brands. He graduated California State University Northridge with a BA in Radio/Television/Film. Brian has had the pleasure of working with a broad range of businesses such as drug rehabs, medical facilities, auto dealers, insurance companies, financial services/hardware, web hosting, search engines, and a free email provider. All that makes him sound like some old guy, but Brian never stopped being active – you can find him in the middle of a kickball game or having an adventure with his kids in the hills near his house.

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