The Consumer Equalizer: eCommerce Blogging
With blog posts focusing on companies and their quality of service or lack thereof, what can you do to make sure you know how to handle negative posts about your company on blogs?
How does this help the consumer, and ultimately, companies? Can companies learn crisis management when situations flare up?
Let’s begin with the first question.
While negative press is always hard to combat, one of the best ways to retaliate to bad blog posts about your company is to take action if your product or service was at fault, apologize and correct the problem, then post or announce that you’ve fixed it.
There have been many cases where customers actually persuaded companies to change policies or fix problems by blogging about it. A case a couple years ago involved a video showing someone picking a Kryptonite bike lock. The news spread like wildfire through the blogosphere, and Kryptonite issued a recall of the lock.
They managed to handle it pretty well, all things considered, but imagine what a nightmare it could be if you were in a similar or worse situation. A good tip is to never try and hide form the bloggers: one will always find you. And you could really be in for some crisis management if mainstream media gets involved.
Dunkin Donuts took a different approach when confronted by the national debate blog. They handled it well, but the situation could of gotten out of control if not handled properly. Ultimately, this helps both the consumer and the company. The blogosphere acts as a net that catches the news and broadcasts it to the world. If a product is bad, the consumer will be able to find the reviews.
However, this system is beneficial for companies as well; it helps (though admittedly, not that effectively) them stay honest and up-to-date with the news and gossip surrounding their product or service and, as in the case of the Kryptonite lock, can act as an excellent alarm.
So what should you take away from this? Companies, have someone monitoring the blogosphere fairly regularly-it can save you time, money and a lot of potential embarrassment. You can anticipate problems and begin damage control immediately, like Dunkin’ Donuts. Consumers keep searching for news, reviews and advice about products and services. Better yet, get your own blog and write some yourself.
About the Author
Geoff is based in LA and has experience in Public Relations and New Business Development for companies such as SS|PR, Grey Direct West, Acclivity Inc. and others. He is currently the LA sales manager for Social Media Systems online marketing company and co-authors the 3net Search Engine Marketing Blog.