Responding to Negative Blog Reviews

Our product was recently reviewed by a blogger and received less than favorable reviews.  Should we respond to this blogger?  If so, what should the approach be?

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By Jennifer Manocchio

In almost every case we would advise contacting the blogger, especially if you feel they did not apply or use the product correctly.  Consider this an extension of customer service.

The only time we would not advise contacting the blogger is if you feel he or she was being very unrealistic.  There are just some people who are very irrational and no matter what you say or do, it will only cause more negative coverage.  You will need to use your best judgment as to whether it is better to let sleeping dogs lie.

If you do decide to contact the blogger, there are two approaches you can take.  You can either respond to the blogger directly if you have an email address or through a contact page, or post a response directly on the blog.

The approach once again depends on the content of the blog post.  If you are concerned he or she did not apply or use the product correctly, contact the blogger by email as to not embarrass him or her.  This could result in another product review with more favorable coverage.

If posting a comment will allow you to educate the marketplace without embarrassing the blogger, then post a response directly on the blog.  For example, if the product has a unique smell because it is made from environmentally friendly materials, post a response explaining why the blogger experienced this odor.

When commenting on a blog post publicly, be transparent and share with the blogger and the blog readers your name and title.

Whichever approach you choose, remember not to attack the bloggers with questions like “Why did you dislike my product?”, which can cause a blogger to get defensive and potentially lead to more negative posts.

Instead, approach the blogger in a way that lets him or her know you are sympathetic and you want to help get to the root of the problem.  Try something like, “We read in your post that our XYZ Stainless Steel Polish left streaks on your refrigerator.  We are sorry you had a bad experience and were hoping to ask a few questions about your testing process that will help us identify why the problem occurred.”

Often, responding to a blogger’s negative opinion can open a two-way dialogue that can lead to improvements in your product or marketing strategy assuming other consumers have mentioned similar issues and this is not an isolated incident.

Want to achieve blog reviews and drive quality web site traffic for a new or existing product?  Contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.

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