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One Bad Apple

The consumer’s escalating attraction to social media sites, blogging and on-line chatting has some business owners in a quandary. In a place where good and bad company reviews are shared on everything from cost to quality of service, it’s hard to know when to defend and when to let words roll off your back. There is always going to be an unhappy customer in the fold, but it used to be that you could smooth things over in private. Now, the oh-so-public posting of slams against businesses is creating a growing concern within even the best-run and most upstanding companies. They say that the negative comments are unfair and untrue.

For a lot of years, I took my mother’s advice and encouraged people to ignore it because after all, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But, after deflecting the flurry of fears of many, I’ve decided that it’s best to defend and take proactive offensive tactics. Sorry Mom.

One bad apple can pose a threat to spoiling the whole bunch, so weed it out and retaliate.

I’m guessing that for every bone one customer has to pick, a company has ten others who would toss that bone and take a stand to defend, so rally the troops. If you believe in your service and your business practices are ethical, combat the bad with the good. You’ll feel better and your efforts will pay off. How? As the rebuttals and positive comments roll-in, they’ll rise to the top of the search engines and bump the bad boys to the bottom.

Published on: November 3, 2008