Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Companies begin to publish negative reviews

An interesting article from The Boston Globe explains how more companies are starting to embrace the online community and include negative feedback from customers on their websites, as well as positive ones. The main example given is for the Bank of America who have now decided to be open to criticism on their products and services, however harsh it may be.

This trend reflects the growing use of consumer opinion sites, or comments made on discussion forums or blogs. The new attitude of these companies is that it's better to have some awareness and control of these negative comments as well as to balance off all the positive ones that it receives (although of course it's human nature to make complaints rather than pass praise).

Such a move provides a challenge to companies who want to protect their brand and implement reputation management strategies online. It does give them a chance to respond and may well attract more criticism directly to the corporate site rather than through other channels. Of course the same issues remain as always, with the opportunities for competitors to pitch in or for the company to provide their own positive reviews!

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