No Easy Fixes For Negative Feedback

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Local business review site, 5StarControl, gives their advice regarding easy answers to bad reviews.

Any local business that wants to succeed must focus on developing and maintaining a solid, positive online presence with consumers.

5StarControl has decided to issue an announcement about some companies’ claims of easy fixes for negative feedback. 5StarControl, a reputation management site, said that small businesses are going to suffer more financial setbacks if they believe other companies’ claims that they can quickly fix or remove negative consumer reviews.

In a news article published in July, the Wall Street Journal reported that many reputation management companies are aggressively pursuing small businesses with negative reviews found on the internet hoping to scare business owners into buying services which promise quick and easy fixes for bad consumer feedback. Some companies cited in the article that promise unrealistic results include Profile Defenders, a Florida-based reputation management company, and RemoveMyName.com. Other, reputable, small and local business marketing companies, such as Yelp, Inc. and Angie’s List, weighed in with 5StarControl, and stated that there are no simple solutions to negative feedback.

Yelp, Inc. has been in the business of providing consumers with a way to post reviews of businesses they frequent while offering online marketing for local business since 2004. Although the number of online marketing companies offering similar services is growing, Yelp still offers its members something no other business review site has, a sense of community said CNet in a December 2009 article. That sense of community has helped Yelp grow from a San Francisco-based small business into a global powerhouse, with sites in 13 countries whose members post millions of reviews, good and bad, each month.

Getting bad reviews from consumer online posts has led a growing number of small businesses to budget an estimated $700 million on services and tools to monitor consumer opinions and reviews on the internet. This growing trend is in response to Yelp bad reviews, as well as negative opinions posted on other sites, including Angie’s List and Facebook, stated The Wall Street Journal. 5StarControl agrees with Google’s advice urging small businesses to use a proactive approach to protecting their online reputation by offering consumers real, useful information that benefits them.

"More than any others, local small businesses are at the mercy of their customer's opinions. Any local business that wants to succeed must focus on developing and maintaining a solid, positive online presence with consumers. By establishing and monitoring a profile on Yelp.com, small businesses have more control over how their business is perceived and increasing their consumer approval ratings. But once a small business’ reputation is damaged, it can be a long process with no simple solution or quick fix," said 5StarControl.

Quick fixes are what less dependable reputation management companies promise. It is also something they can’t deliver. On Yelp, for instance, the only people who can remove negative consumer feedback are those who work in Yelp’s “user-support team,” said Darnell Holloway, Yelp’s local business outreach manager. Angie Hicks, co-owner of Angie’s List, reported that any request to remove a review was thoroughly investigated before being removed – if it’s removed at all.

5StarControl believes these recent events are why it is more important than ever for local businesses to find the right reputation management company to help them prevent a loss of positive consumer opinion, work with a good search engine optimization company that specializes in mobile SEO services, and to have the right tools and services to establish and protect small business online marketing. This is also why 5StarControl considers the work of Frank Kern essential reading for its clients.

5StarControl is a forum covering local business articles about Yelp reputation administration.

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