Responding to social-networking complaints

RetailWire panelists recently commented on the growth of consumer complaints posted on blogs and social networking sites. If you are a retailer or service provider, how to respond? Here’s my brief take:

One word: “Urgency.” React to problems — especially those posted on websites and social networking sites — with a very public response, as well as a personal response to the customer in question. For example, it’s interesting to watch which hotel managers respond to negative reviews on TripAdvisor, and how much value this can add to the hotel’s reputation for taking care of its guests. Will it cost more to “staff up” to these requirements? Absolutely…but the costs of negative feedback going viral and doing irreparable damage to the brand are far higher.

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