What would you do if you owned a moving company and had been building a respected professional reputation for years, then discovered that there were bad reviews percolating up on websites like Yelp! and Facebook?
You’d be concerned, of course, because you don’t want your customers to have a bad experience, and of course you don’t want bad reviews driving other customers away. You’d want to fix it.
But now imagine that in your investigation you discover the writers of the bad reviews weren’t even your customers. What gives? Are people writing fake negative reviews?
No, you discover. After noticing a frequent “typo” referring to your company by a similar but different name (one word off, but still the same meaning) you realize you have a doppelgänger company and their customers are erroneously posting to your review pages.
But wait. When you dig a little deeper, you realize it’s not just a simple misunderstanding. The owner of this company is intentionally sending his users to your Yelp! page, as well as your A+ ranked Better Business Bureau page. And why wouldn’t they? Their BBB page shows an F ranking.
They need to stop. So you call a lawyer and talk to your marketing folks. That’s where the fun begins. They discover that not only does this other company try to cover up its mistakes by using your company review sites and BBB page, but the owner has a criminal record and lies about his military service. They use falsified certifications to operate, do not have a USDOT number despite operating moving trucks, and have failed to register and insure two of three of those trucks.
As you may have guessed, this is not a hypothetical. This happened to our client, Dallas Move Masters. bloomfield knoble designed their website and developed graphics for their social media pages and provide ongoing marketing consulting for them.
Fortunately for Dallas Move Masters, we also know how to handle a situation like this. We immediately created a series of posts that they could utilize in order to manage their reputation and get the word out about the deception perpetrated by the other company.
bloomfield knoble also devised a campaign to promote the goodwill of Dallas Move Masters, offering a discount to victims of the other company’s poor service.
Additionally, we updated the information on important review sites like Yelp! to indicate the discrepancy between the two in order to keep the other company’s customers from posting inaccurate reviews.
Through that reputation management process, which is ongoing, we’ve been able to get the word out to Dallas Move Masters’ followers that they are not the other, similarly named, company, resulting in more sharing and reposting of this story to spread the word.
Dallas Move Masters is an honest company run by a Dallas fireman. They take great pride in their work and we’re proud to call them a client. We hope that our efforts to provide the public with the real story will put an end to the questionable behavior of another business shamefully leeching off of their good name.
Reputation management is not simply about releasing a single statement to the public, but rather requires a steady flow of information telling your story. The more likely your target audience is to stumble across that story, the more likely they are to share it, whether through social media or through old fashioned word of mouth. Then more of the public will have the true story. Your story.
Thanks to the shortening of attention spans and his inability to finish a novel (phenomena that are unrelated, he assures us), Jeff Carrington has found the perfect job for himself as director of communications and social media at bloomfield knoble. When he’s not developing social strategies for clients in 140 characters or less, he’s tweeting about dive bars and dog parks, both of which he frequents with his Spitz-Terrier mix buddy, Ben, and other random humans.