Corporate blogs and customer complaints

If you are thinking about corporate blogging, one obstacle may be the idea that too many comments will be in the form of customer complaints about your organization. That this will just be one big customer complaint box with the difference that all the world can see the complaints. First, if your business has a real problem with customer complaints and they are spilling onto the internet now in blogs or critic sites created as forums for these complaints, you had better have a strategy for addressing these. And having a corporate blog may be one of several ways in which you deal with the complaints.

On the other, you do not want the blog to be hijacked by a few who don’t like your company for one reason or another. The blog tools allow a high degree of control over managing the comments and especially in starting out with a corporate blog when you have that concern, it is a good idea to keep your hand on the controls. The downside of that is, if the complainers feel they are not being heard or their voices are being limited, they will just cry out in other ways (other sites) and now the complaint will be that you are hiding their viewpoints–and that’s a big no no in the blog world.

A corporate blog is a very good place to deal with complaints. Not with specific issues of specific customers or clients, with broader issues underlying them. Are there pricing concerns? Are there customers service concerns? Have some been treated rudely? Are the rules of sellling been violated? Are there legitimate product quality issues? This is a great time to say, “Yes, we have had some problems in these areas, in fact, we are still having some problems, but here is how we are dealing with them.”  Non-defensive admission, the fact that you are taking the concerns seriously and very specific ways you are addressing the problems are critical. This is transparency and it builds trust and credibility. And, if you can’t fix something, it’s a good thing to say that you can’t and why.

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