Monday, January 14, 2008

Beauty Board Rules for Retailers

If you have found this blog, chances are you participate in some beauty-based message board. This week, major drama unfolded when a long-time member of a to-remain-nameless message board complained using dramatic language that a certain retailer's customer service "sucked". The owner of the company then posted a long, drawn-out painfully personal defense of her company and products. Ouch.

Unfortunately, the owner's outrage and passionate defense gained instant notoriety and turned many people off. Since I started this blog and the sole purpose is for me to espouse my opinion as a makeup maven, let me offer some advice to owners and employees of beauty brands who dare to venture onto chat boards to read what people are writing about them or their products:

  1. Practice good public relations.
  2. Follow the above link and pay close attention to the section on "spin".
  3. Write a standard response for complaints that you deem invalid. Do it thoughtfully and be sure to compose it when you are calm.
  4. Whatever you do, do NOT take it personally or respond as if you do. There is a local newscaster in my city who does investigations on how tax dollars are spent; it is ALWAYS the ranting/cursing/loud/obnoxious people who are shown over and over again and make a big negative impression.
  5. Don't obsess over negative comments. Imagine you are a celebrity. Some people are NOT going to like you or your stuff. Accept it. Harvest anything constructive that you can from negative comments, if you simply *must* read them.
  6. Don't spam. 'Nuf said.
  7. Give your customers some credit. People who love your products are not going to be swayed by an off-the-cuff remark. I see people hating on Stila on beauty boards, and it doesn't dissuade me in the least. I like what I like.
  8. Give your potential customers some credit. I can usually tell when people are being flip, and I can make a determination if I agree that the CS "sucked".
  9. Avoid public airing of dirty laundry. Do not respond to an attack in a public forum.
  10. If you absolutely must be a participant on the board and you defend your product/company, do so gently and without malice. Oh, heck, JUST DON'T DO IT.

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