In most cases, BBB coverage is positive. In fact, according to one blog, over 75 percent of comments posted about companies are positive in nature. However, some comments are quite negative, and those negative comments can do a significant amount of damage if they’re left in place for months at a time, popping to the top of search results.
Companies facing BBB complaints have several options available. For example, according to the BBB, they can submit written proof that the complaint is fraudulent, or that the complaint has been handled to the satisfaction of the client. This will render the complaint “closed,” and it will be removed from the searchable index the BBB submits to Google. Companies can also simply ignore the complaints they receive, and in 30 days, the BBB will render those complaints closed as well. A closed complaint is never really “gone,” however, as the BBB continues to keep a tally of the number of complaints received, and how those complaints were handled. Some companies could receive low marks from the BBB that persist for years simply because they’ve not done anything about the damage done in the complaints section of the BBB site.
Reputation management companies are happy to help companies with this function. While the executives of the company being complained about will have to provide details about the nature of the complaint, and why the complaint should be removed, but reputation management companies will happily track the issue and follow up to ensure that fraudulent comments are removed as quickly as possible.
Stemming Further Damage
It’s important to note that BBB complaints can mysteriously appear in other forums, including chat rooms and online bulletin boards. According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, consumers are often not satisfied with the resolutions companies offer during the BBB process. It’s easy to see how these clients might vent their concerns in other areas, if they feel as though their BBB complaints didn’t give them any relief.
Reputation management companies can also help here, looking for instances in which consumer complaints that begin on the BBB begin to spiral out to other venues. If this happens, reputation companies can create a barrage of content that is positive in nature but contains the same keywords found in the harmful content. This positive content will rank higher in search engine results, pushing the negative content to later search result pages, essentially masking it from viewers. Reputation management companies can also help to craft rebuttal responses on these other sites, ensuring that the company’s “voice” remains professional and calm, even while under attack
So while negative BBB complaints might be relatively rare, and time can often solve the problem effectively, reputation management companies have a useful role to play in containing the damage and ensuring that what starts as a simple misunderstanding doesn’t turn into a business-threatening disaster.