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The Six Defensive Steps for Neutralizing Negative Blogs

 

In May 2005, Business Week stated that “blogs will change the way businesses work”.  Boy were they right!  Make a mistake in servicing a customer today and your service failure will be detailed in all its negative glory on a blog somewhere in cyberspace.  How do you fight back?   First you need to know what people are saying about you.  You need to monitor your “on-line reputation” on a consistent basis.  Google your company regularly.  In addition to being your own on-line detective, check out the Alert service offered by Google.  Google Alert is a free service where Google will send you an email any time specific key words newly appear on the Web. (www.google.com/alerts).  You will know almost instantly what unhappy customers are telling the world about your service or product.  Technorati.com is another on-line blog search site but you need to activate the search – still a good site to regularly check.  (http://www.technorati.com/)

 

The Six Defensive Steps

Football teams learned years ago that the best offense is a great defense!  Proactively build and deploy a “prevent defense” to neutralize negative service comments on blogs.

1.   Benchmark Your Blog AppearancesApply the same web marketing analytics approach to blogs where you appear.  Monitor your ranking in blogs, monitor your  blog traffic and most importantly, do the same for your key competitors. Frequency can indicate your service problems are not being solved.

2.  Develop and Practice a Structured , Consistent Service Recovery Process

 Define exactly how everyone handles service complaints.  Define your escalation process and above all make it simple with minimal layers.  Create a Rapid Response Team for volatile customers where the stakes are particularly high and give them the authority for rapid fixes.

 

3.   Develop a Major Incident Database

You should track all complaints but major incidents must be tracked, communicated throughout the company and solutions developed rapidly.  Everyone should know about highly charged customers or incidents – this arms all employees with the information they need to satisfy that customer.

 

4.  Create a Customer Advisory Board

Quarterly meetings with satisfied and dissatisfied customers are a critical component of “hearing” your customers without employee “filtering” and thus giving you the unvarnished truth about your service quality.  Be sure you take action based on the input from this board- all talk and no action will further erode your company’s reputation.

 

5.  Tell Your Customers How Their Input Has Influenced Improvement

Follow the lead of a major software company and add a “Better Because Of You” button on your Web site that tells customers how their input has resulted in improvements in your company’s service process and policies.

 

6.  Place Positive Testimonials on your Web Site

Solicit testimonials from happy customers and post them on your site.  You MUST keep them current and changing.  Consider giving small gifts or coupons to customers who take the time to write you positive letters or share positive quotes.

 

Take action today to deliver great service – your customers expect it!  Catalytic Management offers results driven, sustainable service quality programs, consulting and training.  Call us today to learn more about how service quality can and will drive increased profits for your company!   

Catalytic Management
67 Edgehill Road • Stow, MA 01775
Phone: 978-562-5001 • Web: www.catalyticmanagement.com

Catalytic Management specializes in business performance and growth consulting
for small and medium-sized companies in New England.
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