by Guest Blogger, Lena West
I've mentioned before that blogs are a great way to develop the often-coveted, ever-illusive four-way conversation about your products or services.
But, blogs shouldn't be used solely to engage in conversation with your market. They are also great ways to land more speaking engagements, share your expertise, boost your client base as well as show how your company quickly and efficiently handles complaints or unhappy customers.
In fact, one of the the best things that can happen to your business is for a customer or client to leave a not-so-positive comment. This might sound counter-intuitive at first but, let's look at it another way.
Companies are always yammering on and on about what great service they deliver. For example, Sprint says this on their web site: "Sprint wants you to enjoy the best customer experience."
Well, who cares what Sprint "wants"? The fact is, as recently as April, they were voted to MSN's Customer Service Hall of Shame with 40% of survey respondents saying they had a poor experience with Sprint's customer service.
All too often what companies say about their customer service and what they do are two different things. Way too often.
So, back to the negative comment on your blog...
What a great way to differentiate your company, step away from the pack and not just talk a good game about your "stellar customer service" but SHOW your entire readership how your company provides top-flight customer service.
I have advised many of my clients to reply to the comment right there on the blog by following three key steps:
1) Genuinely apologize for their experience.
2) State what you will do and WHEN you'll do it
3) Give them direct phone numbers and email addresses to contact you in the interim.
Proceed to do what you said you would within the time frame you said you would...if not sooner. Then, report back to the blog. Write another comment letting the reader know that everything is complete. Apologize again and thank them for being a loyal customer.
This way, not only do you get to offer a solution to the person expeiencing the problem but you also get to publically walk your talk. Do you have the professional courage to do this in your business?