STATELINE, Nev. Jan. 19, 2011
"Consumers use peer review sites like ours to research products; what other consumers have to say is part of that equation, but equally important is how companies engage with those customers," Carman said. "The new ConsumerAffairs.com Reputation Management program provides a public platform in which companies can demonstrate their brand promise and commitment to customers."
First launched in late 2009, the ConsumerAffairs.com Reputation Management product alerts businesses as soon as consumer comments are received and processed by ConsumerAffairs.com. Companies receive a copy of the complaint or review and are able to respond directly to the consumer to gather additional information and, if needed, to resolve an issue on the spot.
Companies’ responses are published to ConsumerAffairs.com alongside each consumer comment, providing timely and highly visible evidence of their efforts to resolve the problem or explain the circumstances surrounding it.
Upscale appliance manufacturer Fisher & Paykel has used ConsumerAffairs.com Reputation Manager as an effective way to reach out to unhappy customers and respond to their complaints – publicly, so that everyone can see the company’s attempt to right whatever wrong is alleged.
"Businesses sometimes feel that not every review or complaint is valid. A reasoned explanation of the company’s side of the story – while it may not satisfy the consumer – demonstrates to readers who are researching products that there are two sides to the story," Carman said.
"Consumer review and complaint sites are a fact of life," Carman said. "When ConsumerAffairs.com was launched in 1998, it helped to pioneer the right of consumers to speak up, to compare notes, and to offer complaints and commendations to a wide audience. And, based on the feedback we’ve gotten, companies have realized this is an interactive process – each comment represents an opportunity for brands to demonstrate their commitment to customers."