Build Up or Tear Down

A post in response to: With Great Power by Chris Brogan

It’s true that there are bloggers who are esteemed highly and can really have serious influence when writing about other businesses. People need outspoken and confident bloggers like Chris Brogan and Guy Kawasaki to spark ideas and share experiences. The thing is, we are all here to share “a piece of our mind” with the world. We like to have someone to look up to, for guidance, if you will. I agree that everyone has the right to an opinion, even when they don’t agree with your own. However, when you are in the spotlight, you both directly and indirectly have an effect on the person, or business you post about. Chris Brogan learned this out loud today when posting a complaint about a certain retailer and as a result received a very real look at how he could have a negative influence on that business. You see, because Google loves Chris’s site, (the guy gets tons of traffic and linkbacks) almost immediately after he posted the post you could do a Google search on the retailer and one of the very top results was Chris Brogan’s blog post titled:

Dear (Business)- You Stink and So Does Retail

He had the business name where I typed “business”. However, his next post was almost an apology so I won’t repeat it. Of course, if did, I might not be on the front page of Google that same day! LOL, now that is power! Never-the-less, many of his regular and new commenters pointed out that he was too quick to judge the whole chain because of a bad experience. As a result, this reminded me of some very important principles about human business:

1. Customer service is a big part of customer satisfaction. (Doesn’t matter how great your product is, consumers still need courtesy and respect.)

2. If you can’t meet your customers needs, don’t just say “sorry” and forget about it. The franchises need to all have the option to order a product for you. Especially the attendant (who may have just been having an off day?) at Timberland could have probably said, “We don’t have any in stock, but let me pull up our website and we can have a pair here for you to try on in a few days” instead of: “Sorry, we don’t have any of those in yet, try Macy’s.” (Though, I’m sure Macy’s appreciated that.)

and

3. Even when blogging “we catch a lot more flies with honey that with vinegar.” (My mom used to say that all the time!) I have to always re-read my posts and comments, because sometimes I get into a train of thought and inadvertently sound too “bubbly” (even about new techie information – can’t help but be kinda geeky and excited sometimes, :) or maybe like a “know-it-all”.

Oh well,live and learn, right? We have the right to share experiences with the world, but don’t overlook the fact that we have the “power” to build up or tear down with our writing. Kind of a big responsibility huh?

Anyways to new and veteran bloggers alike, whether you are building up or tearing down, when you are in a way wrong: It’s cool to own it.