What if someone says something bad about us in our Blog?

It’s a question customers ask me all the time, so I come out of yet another writing hiatus to chime in. (Better read now, it could be another 3 months before I lift my head above the rubble of balancing work- and family-life to publicly rant.) So what’s a company to do? You start a Blog with all good intentions of opening up client communications, building your brand, and, of course, enjoying any additional traffic it helps to supply to your company site – but then something goes very wrong. Instead of garnering mostly kudos from your clients, you get lots of boos and hisses.

C’mon, toughen up! Did you REALLY expect that people only have good things to say about your company, product or services? (If you do, please let me know…that’s a stock I want to invest in!)

Here’s your opportunity to find out what people really think about your products and service. And your chance to respond – publicly. That’s the scary part…your “dirty laundry” out there for everyone to see. And you have to explain why the whites aren’t pure white. So it’s time for a little reality check…what do you do when the negativity pours in.

What do I say? Be prepared to have answers. It’s customer service we’re talking about here. Let them know that you are considering their comments not just dismissing them. If they are relevant comments, then consider them!

Make me an offer. These people are your customers. Let them know that if they send you contact information, you will send them a coupon.

Everything in moderation. The nice thing about Blogs is that you can moderate comments, edit them or choose not to publish them at all. Unfortunately, by not publishing comments you are basically taking away the shear nature of their power: the ability to communicate and engage dialog. Every company should have a comment moderation policy. If you do not immediately publish comments, use that time to consider your response.

If it walks like a duck… It seems that you are getting several comments that are the same in nature. “This product sucks.” While not very helpful in defining why the user doesn’t like it, any additional negative comments are likely to lead you to develop a far superior product and turn those lemons into the most successful lemonade brand out there.

When it becomes unmanageable, get help. Of course, with any new problem comes a solution. There are several services to help you manage the comment process, such as those from BuzzLogic, and ReputationDefender.

Like anything else, Blogs need to be managed. It’s a public relations, customer service, and marketing tool all in one that can really provide businesses with far more potential then they realize. Set some clear policies and plans before engaging your audience.

About Caryl Felicetta

You can find Caryl on Twitter @CarylF.

One Response to What if someone says something bad about us in our Blog?

  1. I’d say it’s an opportunity to embrace when somebody is critical on your own blog.

    If you can’t fix the problem or prove it’s not really a problem, there are much bigger problems with your company than controlling the conversations.