Thursday, 1 January 2009

Paying to protect your online reputation

There's an interesting story on The Consumerist which struck a chord with me. Apparently, Ritz Camera offered a small financial incentive ($20) to an unhappy consumer if she withdrew her complaint against the store.

Harvey Jones were always diligent in ensuring that I removed traces of my story with them. (Incidentally, I'm sure they monitor their reputation so diligently that they've read this).

My challenge to organisations is this: no customer expects 100% satisfaction. Wouldn't it be better to show how you've converted a detractor into a promoter?

Things go wrong. The more successful the company, the more opportunities that something will go wrong. What we do expect is that when it does, we get treated well and our complaint is handled satisfactorily. And a customer who wasn't happy but now is, is a much more convincing story than a string of reviews which are only positive.

That's hard for old-style organisations to get their heads around. But that level of authenticity is what makes the great standout from the good online.

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