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Instantaneous Critics Part 2

Identifying, Managing and Resolving Your Online and In-house Reputation

In the previous blog I shared the importance of identifying, managing and resolving your online and in-house reputation. Employers can no longer stick their head in the sand and ignore online reviews. The key is to respond on a timely basis, and engage the customer who has complained.

Bill Gates shared, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Employers should embrace the opportunity to receive organic feedback via social media channels.

The following customer service story about a customer interaction with CompUSA customer and blogger Terry Heaton, who bought a digital camera from a store’s liquidation sale only to find out at home that it was an empty box.

Let’s recount the series of events:

  • June 2: Terry posts on his blog the response he got from the CEO’s office about his empty box problem. A CompUSA exec tells Terry that he should have inspected the box before taking it home and all sales are final. Never mind that Terry was a longtime CompUSA customer and had spent $3,500 that day at the liquidation sale.
  • June 3: The Lost Remote blog writes about Terry’s story. 211 people comment.
  • June 4: The story is posted to Digg where it’s digg’d 2,607 times with 210 comments and rises to the number 2 story in the Digg Business section.
  • June 4: The story hits the front page of BoingBoing.
  • June 4: CNET.com mentions the story in their video show “The Queue.”
  • June 4:  Over 50 blogs write about Terry’s story.
  • June 5: Terry finally gets a call from CompUSA apologizing for the situation and promising a $300 gift certificate from the store.
  • June 5: Terry’s story is on the front page of FoxNews.com, with the caption “Image problem.”

Consumers are taking their frustrations directly to the web, and a lot of people are listening! Additionally, the customer is evaluating, reviewing and comparing your product (i.e. restaurant, lodging, winery, gaming, and retail, and other services) online to help with their purchasing decision. The consumer makes purchasing decisions based often on the reviews found online.

There will be rogue reviews written by spammers, trolls, competitors or bitter ex-employees, but don’t worry about these. You will have your satisfied customer base that will stand up for you, and know there are a lot of well-informed consumers who can read and discern the difference between these reviews.

The final entry on this subject will be found in Part 3 of this blog. Come back and take a look at 3 tips to help Identify, Manage and Resolve your online and in-house reputation:

Jan M. Smith is the Founder and Principal of Inland Management Group, a Human Resource Consultancy located in Temecula, specializing in the Hospitality and Service industry. You can contact Jan at (951) 302-6483, www.inlandmgtgroup.com, email at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at Temecula_HR, and become a Fan on Facebook