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How Much Can It Hurt? Negative Comments Online Make a Big Difference

One of the most common mistakes made by small business owners is the idea that the Internet exists on a separate plane than so-called “real life.” The concept is that what’s said and done online is separate, somehow, from what’s said and done in a person’s tangible day to day life. Bustle pointed out earlier this year just how ridiculous it would be if Internet commenters talked to people in “real life” the way they do in their comments; the ability to comment anonymously takes this to new extremes.

Unfortunately, this concept of a division between the digital and the physical world hasn’t been legitimate for quite a while. The Web turned 20 years old back in 2013 and has been a genuine and human communication platform more or less since its inception. This can be for better or worse, particularly when it comes to running a business.

There are three major areas that an influx of negative feedback can impact for the worse if not handled quickly and correctly:

  1. Customers. According to a Zendesk report, 88 percent of customers have users have been influenced by online reviews when choosing whether or not to make a purchase or utilize a particular service. That’s close to 9 out of 10 people taking the time to do a little online research before they choose to work with your business; if the only reviews they find are negative, you’re losing more customers than any business can afford.
  2. Hiring. With sites like GlassDoor and CareerLeak offering candid, anonymous reviews from former and current employees of companies all over the world, it’s easier than ever for job seekers to decide your company isn’t the place they want to be—even if your business would love to have them. Many job seekers won’t even bother applying to work for companies with a low star rating on these sites.
  3. Partnerships and affiliation. You may find it harder to take part in local and national business organizations and coalitions if your company has too many negative reviews. It can also impact whether or not successful people are willing to associate with you, making it harder to get investors and business partners on board even when you have a great product or service.

As it turns out, while everyone wants to be an individual, it’s human nature to rely on the opinion of others to help make the right choices. And that’s really the crux of the issue: most businesses of any size rely a great deal on word of mouth marketing to grow their customer base, but the ability for anyone to leave a comment on any business with a Google listing can be extremely detrimental to this most integral of marketing methods.

Just remember that what happens on the Internet doesn’t stay on the Internet, so it’s important to address any negative comments your business may pick up as you go along. The future of your business could depend on it!

If your frustrated with negative comments being left online about your business, contact Van Horn Law Group, as we can be a resource to help you through  this situation.

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Published by
Chad Van Horn

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