We all know that bad news travels faster than good news. A bad or negative consumer experience can affect a business ten times more than a positive experience. It can impact the decision of the buyer and make him shift towards a competing brand. Let me illustrate a real life example that happened with me. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to buy a new mobile phone for myself. I had a brand and a model number in my mind. However just before purchasing that particular cell-phone, I decided to do some online research. After all, as human beings, we are driven by user experiences. Well, what I saw changed my decision.
The top ten online search results which popped up as I keyed in the query left me in a bit of daze. Pieces of text lying below the name of my favorite product in the search results page, had some negative information that put me off. I did not even click on the link to venture further http://oursminiworld.com/. I then keyed in the name of a competing brand. Things were much brighter here. There were some positive reviews about the product on the top ten search results that came up. My mind was made; I went ahead and purchased the product which initially had not ranked top-most in the list.
Like me, there are many consumers including you who may decide to do some research and learn by other consumer experiences before buying a product or subscribing for a service. With the Web 2.0 search culture coming and the Time Magazine declaring the Person of the Year as You, it is evident that each one of us can create a magnanimous impact with a click of a mouse or a keyboard button. In the olden days, it was a well-known fact that the pen is mightier than the sword. That proverb can be modified to say that the Internet is a greater weapon than the biggest ammunition in the world. Needless to say, the greatest and most dynamic weapon online that can influence, provoke and even manipulate the human mind-a weblog or a blog.
The year 2004 heralded ‘blog’ as the word of the year. Years later, the word has transformed itself into action. Today it is a revolution and in the future, blogs are poised to change the way decisions are made. As these are usually free, blogs are both convenient and invaluable. In fact, we can see them people pouring out their sorrows, venting their frustration, expressing their joy through blogs. Evidently, people are also venting out their dissatisfied consumer experiences which influence others to think twice about brand loyalty.
One can imagine how much amount of losses, companies will have to suffer due to the whiplash and nasty comments written by these consumers. This calls for an immense amount of damage control and repair. Companies have to be careful that nothing negative or untoward comes up on the first two pages of a search engine. A forward thinking company will have to have a corporate blog in place that can combat such negative news. The methodology, a company adopts to combat apprehension and negativity, and sustain its goodwill and positive image forms the crux of online reputation management.