Erasing an online consumer complaint from your search results – Part 2 of Power to the Consumer

So here’s the secret.  You can’t.

You knew that was coming, didn’t you?  But there are ways to push the complaint farther away from your site and out of your search results.

The first thing I would do.  Go after that customer, face to face, and see if you can correct what happened.  Now some people would say that there are people who are never going to be happy, no matter what you do.

I would disagree and say, “You really don’t know that until you are face-to-face with that person.”

Too many times I’ve seen emails and comments start flaming because when it comes to digital communication it is easy to forget there is another human being on the other end of that discussion.  It’s almost like we are flipping mad at our computer and just letting them have it.  But once they are in person or on the phone, the anger settles and people can talk in the right TONE to one another.

The other thing to do is to go to those sites that have your complaint and explain your side of things.  Tell them how you’ve tried to work this situation out.

But if you can’t fix it, you can out-content them on search results.

If you have only one website on the internet (your singular web presense) on the internet, this is going to be very hard.  Because you essentially have only one link or two links that will come up when there is a search for your company.

But if you have multiple web presences…say a YouTube Channel, a Flickr account, a Twitter account, an outside blog or multiple blogs, a facebook page, a myspace page, then you have a chance.

Now what I would do is start pushing lots and lots of content out on the web through these different channels – and there are a heck of a lot of more of them than I mentioned.

Also, don’t do it all at once.  Space it out.  Get stuff up there at least once a week.

Other things you can do is change your static site frequently.  I don’t care if it costs you money because you built a site without a CMS.  By not changing your content, it just sits there and Google has no reason to re-index your site.

Get involved in other people’s conversations on their sites.  If you are scared of the internet, then talk to someone who understands it and can help you.

The bottom line is get more active on the internet and you can drive them down on the search results.

This is also not a great idea in theory – I’ve done this before with companies.  It does work.  But make sure you understand this.  The same rules that apply to you, also apply to the consumer and that’s why when you step it up – they can as well.  So it’s better to just work it out together and not go through this mess.

Good luck.  And if anyone else has some ideas on how to do it, let me know.  I would love to hear them.


2 responses to “Erasing an online consumer complaint from your search results – Part 2 of Power to the Consumer”

  1. Question, I work for a company that has a similar site to the Princeton one. I know they are doing business the right way, however, similar to your response, you automatically think it’s scam before purchase.

    Now there are other companies that may be acting unethical, but if your name is dropped into these blogs crapping all over “other” companies, and your name gets thrown in the mix, what do you do?

    I’m keeping the companies name off, so I can get some credit with some suggestions ( from you of course ) on how to help with this… It’s not just one person from the neighborhood, it’s a global thing. So I think we cannot combat this on a one by one basis, and every complaint on us is from a non buyer, these people never actually purchased anything.

    Please help…

  2. Though, it’s hard to comment on this specifically because I don’t know the company or what you are really going through.

    The best advice I can give you is to post all comments and be as open as possible. Let your members speak for you. Reach out through them not through email or advertising.

    My comments were not based on my personal experience but what I found online and then after my post all I receive are comments from people that may or may not have been duped.

    If I was Princeton Premier or a company like that, I would send happy members to my blog to tell me that what others are saying are wrong. That it is worth the money they have paid and they are receiving the right kind of benefits for their association. So far I’ve received none.

    But this is just free advice so you can take that for what it is. Free advice. 🙂

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