Posted by Ann D. at 9/30/2009 9:45 AM CDT on Chicago Business
It’s every business owner’s nightmare: Despite your best efforts to treat your customers well, bad things sometimes happen. And one unhappy customer can do a fair amount of damage to the company reputation you’ve spent years building up.
Word-of-mouth, as we all know, is the most powerful form of advertising. But now, thanks to the Internet revolution, one negative opinion can be amplified via Twitter, Facebook, blogs and beyond.
On the other hand, if the posting is accurate, you have little legal recourse.
She recalls a situation involving a client whose business had a very unhappy customer. The customer went so far as to create a Web site — “thiscompanysucks.com” — and described the bad experience there. Unfortunately for Ms. Saper’s client, the unhappy customer stuck to the facts and, thus, Ms. Saper’s client had little legal recourse.
But the legal path isn’t necessarily the only path to patching up bad relationships with irked customers. This video interview with Ms. Saper sheds more light.
If an unhappy customer writes something negative about your company on a blog or on a social media site like Twitter, you do have a few options. So says Daliah Saper of Saper Law, a frequent presenter at Score Chicago workshops.
If you can prove that the posting is inaccurate in some way, you have the same kind of recourse that you would have if the writer’s views were printed in a newspaper. The normal legal remedies that are available for defamation apply in social media, Ms. Saper notes.
However, if the blog has a place for a comment or reply, Ms. Saper suggests that the best path is simply to note the error and tell your view of the situation as dispassionately as possible.