Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

eBay Seller Sues Buyer for Leaving “Neutral” Feedback

Living in a Radically Transparent world is, it seems, not without risk. Apparently a Seattle man was recently sued for $10,000 because he left a “Neutral” rating for an eBay seller from North Carolina.

Sued! For $10k for using a system that eBay implemented to encourage feedback!!!

Shellhorn bought some Morgan silver dollars from a man in North Carolina. The price was fair, but Shellhorn says the coins were packed poorly.

“The coins were hanging out of the envelope, loose, with no packing whatsoever around them,” he said.

The seller wanted feedback. Shellhorn couldn’t honestly say the deal was good or bad so he took the middle ground.

“This is neutral feedback, not even negative feedback, but neutral. He sued me for $10,000,” he said.

72% of Consumers Research Reputations Online, 59% of Customers Happy to Share Gripes With Them

Do you use the web to complain about poor customer service? (Maybe I should say "thanks," because you keep me busy with reputation management clients).

Well, if you do, you’re not alone. According to a new study by Society for New Communications Research 59% of respondents said they regularly use social media to "vent" about a poor customer service experience.

And, thanks to the two third of you that do complain, there’s plenty of online fodder for consumers to read, when researching a company’s reputation. And lots of us are researching:

72 percent of respondents used social media to research a company’s reputation for customer care before making a purchase, and 74 percent choose to do business with companies based on the customer care experiences shared by others online.

Protect Customer Data or Face a Reputation Backlash

A new study from Frost & Sullivan suggests companies have a new enemy to face, in their battle to protect their online reputation–their own data leaks.

According to CNET:

Indeed, three-fourths of the information security professionals around the world surveyed by Frost & Sullivan say they now consider avoiding reputation damage to their organizations as a top priority.

Have you looked at your own data security recently? How do you collect customer information? What policies do you have in place to prevent your CEO leaving a laptop–loaded with client social security numbers–sitting in a cafe?

It’s not just poor customer service or defective products that can kill customer loyalty. Just the perception that you’ve mishandled sensitive customer information could enough to damage your reputation–and send customers to your rival.

Does Mozilla Control Apple’s Reputation?

Want to know the latest craze in radical transparency?

Calling out your competitor publicly, and embarrassing them into making a change.

Don’t believe me it works? The most recent example comes from the Mozilla’s public condemnation of a new practice by Apple–which sneakily installs the company’s Safari browser on Windows computers. Mozilla owns the Firefox browser and so its CEO, John Lilly, went public with his concerns over the practice.

The result? Apple has now changed the way it presents the Safari install, as you can see below:

I’m sure Apple didn’t make the change only because of Lilly’s public tongue-lashing–others complained too–but it does demonstrate how the governance of your reputation isn’t just in the hands of your stakeholders.

Advice for Managing Negative Reviews of Hotels or Small Businesses

>>Need help managing the reputation of your hotel or small business? I can help!<<

If you’re a small business–or one that operates only in a particular geographic region–you might be forgiven for seeing “online reputation management” and think it doesn’t apply to you. You’re not a big brand, you don’t have to worry about the Wall Street Journal or Newsweek writing about your business, so why worry?

While managing a national reputation may not be of concern, I’ll guarantee that there’s a local web portal or trade journal that keeps tabs on what your customers think about your business. No better example of this than the hospitality industry. Most hotel managers look upon online reviews as a thorn in their flesh–there’s just no pleasing some guests, so why even try?

Why 8 Cyber-Bullying Teens Are Already Sentenced to a Life of Reputation Incarceration

If you watched the news over the weekend, you probably couldn’t escape news of eight teenagers accused of viciously beating a 16-year-old girl, with the intention of posting a video on YouTube.

What was planned as a cyber-bullying stunt to shame their victim on YouTube has turned into an online reputation management scar that will live with the eight defendants for the rest of their lives.

Take a look at these names:

…Cara Murphy, 16; Britney Mayes, 17; Kayla Hassell, 15; Zachary Ashley, 17; Brittini Hardcastle, 17; Mercades Nichols, 17; April Cooper, 14; and Stephen Schumaker, 18.

Conduct a search for any of these names and you’ll find many news articles and blog posts–all telling the story of how each are facing kidnapping and battery charges.

12 Reputations Every Company Should Monitor Online

ReputationsIn Radically Transparent, we explain why you should monitor your online reputation 24/7. In fact, it’s so important, that if you can figure out how to monitor it 25/8, you should absolutely do so.

But, it’s one thing to know how important reputation monitoring is–and which tracking tools to use–but what “reputations” should you monitor exactly? You should already know the importance of monitoring your personal name and company brand, but here’s a list of 12 items every company should track.

1. Your Personal Name

Whether you’re an independent consultant, or a very small cog on a big corporate wheel, you should absolutely monitor any media mentions of your own name. An extra tip, monitor your user names too: monitoring “andy beal” would likely not include mentions of “andybeal.”