The Ethics Of Reputation Marketing and How To Do It RIGHT!

Today, I was asked a very valid question while talking to a restaurant owner (Doug) who expressed his interest in our Reputation Marketing services. He asked me if we are tricking customers into leaving 5 stars for businesses because our system automatically holds back the low star rating for action by the business owner.  

He explained further that he is ecstatic that this is possible because he sees the BIG picture, however, he just wanted to know more about how the system actually works.

While I did not like the word “tricking” I was not offended by the question because it is a very valid one that deserves an honest answer.  I figured that if he has this question maybe others may also be thinking the same thing, therefore I decided to write this post to clarify the ethics of our business.

Reviews are meant to inform the public, potential customers and business owners the reputation of their brand, customer service and product and services. It also doubles as a feedback tool With that being said, we cannot remove reviews that other users have posted. That is up to the reviewer. While we cannot remove your negative reviews, we can bury them by pushing positive reviews on top of them with our software.



Here is how Reputation Marketing system RepBusters works in 4 steps using a restaurant as an example since the question was posed by a restaurateur.



A client dines at your restaurant and has consented to receive text messages from you for whatever reason i.e feedback, promotion, special offers etc.


Once the guest is finished, within 2 – 24 hours you send out a text message thanking him or her for dining at your restaurant and asking them to rate their experience from a scale of  1 – 5.


If the diner rates your restaurant as a 3 star that signals that something was not quite right with that dining experience. Our system will NOT post that review. That review is sent to you the business owner to RESOLVE.  There is no way that this review can be changed in our system to a 4 or 5  – ABSOLUTELY NOT!


The business owner MUST reach out to the customer who rated the dining experience as a 3 star to try to resolve the situation.  This must be done! There are huge negative consequences for your business if you ignore your customer’s negative reviews!If you as the business owner gets 10 customers rating you poorly for being served cold food or having a dirty bathroom – guess what – unless there is some conspiracy going on – CLEAN the bathrooms and serve HOT or WARM food.  These demands are not unreasonable in my view.


I personally do not subscribe to the customer is  “always right” mantra, however, I do agree that every wrong that the customer expresses about your business must be investigated and made right wherever possible.

The onus is on the business owners to be careful how the interaction is done.  You as the business has more to lose in this war-of-words than your customers, something that many business owners have yet to understand.

So there you have it, Doug! I hope that that explanation helped. To test out the RepBusters system that I’ve described in the article, click this link


Also please read our blog post on How to Respond to Negative Reviews Like a Pro.


Damali Thomas BA, M.Ed

Damali Thomas is a Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at Go Social Or Die Digital Agency. She has her Bachelor's in Psychology and Masters in Education and Digital Technology.She has a cat named Cairo.Her favourite business quote: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” —Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder