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Blogging As A Form Of Customer Service
Summary: Most consumers have heard (and believe) the old adage “the customer is always right.” They don’t care if the problem was a manufacturer error, something broken in transit or they simply changed their mind. What consumers do care about is whether you care enough to listen and can offer a solution. As a business owner you may likely be involved in business blogging. Your blogs are professional, engaging and hopefully beneficial to all who visit. There is a dynamic, however, that has always been of interest to me.
The blogger in most cases must be professional and highly diplomatic in both their posts and subsequent rebuttals. The reader on the other hand can be as open and straightforward as they wish. The web is, after all, built on principles of capitalism and democracy. There is a free exchange of ideas and blogs are a prime facilitator of this exchange. It is possible for bloggers to also have a straightforward and in-your-face approach to their blog (and some do).
However, the end result is often a substantial group of alienated consumers. These alienated consumers rarely make additional purchases from a company they feel they has offended them. In most cases business blogs are designed to bear the brunt of ill-informed or even vitriolic visitors who may wish to rip their blog posts to shreds. If the post is overly abusive you can, in many cases, remove the offensive post from the blog. Sometimes you will be correct, but misunderstood. Sometimes you may be wrong and that’s where your role as diplomat comes in. A good business owner understands the rule of diplomacy in regards to their patrons. Don’t be surprised when you receive an email, or blog reply (or as I like to call them nasty-o-grams) from a dissatisfied customer. These forms of customer interaction provide an opportunity to exercise self-restraint in the midst of something that may truly be an injustice to you and/or your business. By taking the high road by responding in kindness you often defuse the anger instead of expanding it.
By seeking to view things from the customer’s perspective you may successfully move the offended from frustrated consumer to business advocate. Most of the time consumers who may appear to be infused with venom simply want to have some assurance that they have been heard, that their grievance has been heard and that something will be done about it. Most consumers have heard (and believe) the old adage “the customer is always right.” They don’t care if the problem was a manufacturer error, something broken in transit or they simply changed their mind about the purchase. What consumers do care about is whether you care enough to listen and can offer a solution. Whether it is blogging or customer service, give your customers (or visitors) the opportunity to vent or applaud at will. This process can give you a positive handle on what issues you may need to deal with and who may need a personalized contact from your business.
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