FranchisePick.com gets posts hundreds of comments per month, and some of them are rather, shall we say, unflattering. How should your franchise company (or non-franchise company) respond to negative blog comments? Join the conversation? Lash back? Call in the lawyers? Hope it goes away on its own?
Mack Collier has a good post on the subject at Marketing Profs. He tells how the company Hardwood Artisans (and his friend, owner Allison) landed a good blog story, but became the target of negative comments regarding their employee benefits program. Allison correctly joined the conversation, and turned the negative into more positive exposure. Collier writes:
Prior to my friend Allison commenting, the post had 6 comments, all of which were either critical, or downright negative toward Hardwood Artisians. Allison did exactly what you should do if your company is coming under fire. She kept her cool, politely thanked the commenters for their feedback, and set the record straight about how the company handled providing health insurance to its employees. And she also did something else that’s very important; she invited commenters to continue to leave her feedback…
When Allison left that comment, the entire tone of the conversation changed…After Allison’s comment, 11 other people commented, and ten of them were positive. Most even came to the defense of HA, and one commenter added: “Still, if nothing else, my hat is off to Alison for being willing to step into the lion’s den to answer questions”
Collier sums up the lessons to be learned:
1 – If someone is leaving negative comments about your company, respond.
2 – Be thankful and polite. Nothing escalates a negative comment into a full-bore flamewar faster than an ‘Oh yeah?!?’ reply from the company.
3 – If commenters are jumping to the wrong conclusion about your company, kindly correct them with the proper information.
4 – Thank them for their feedback, and encourage them to provide more. Leave your email address so they can contact you off the blog, if they choose.
If you are thankful and respectful toward commenters, even those that are attacking your company, the end result will almost always be a positive experience.
Good advice and a good example. Read the whole post here: How Should Your Company Handle Negative Blog Comments?
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