Customer Service & Blog Networks

There are almost as many blog networks as blogs. There are blog networks that do cover pretty much every imaginable category and then some. However, blog networks, like bloggers, are not exempt from providing customer service. They have a responsibility to do so and if they wish to set themselves apart, providing good customer service never hurts.

Customer Service to Readers:
Though it is ideally the blogger’s responsibility, blog networks should try and provide as much customer service as possible to readers. They need to be:

  • Responsive. Like bloggers, blog networks should not ignore emails. A simple “No thanks – may want to try such and such.” is a better response than no response. They should be respond to comments, suggestions, questions, etc. through all of the required mediums (comments, email, etc.).
  • Friendly. Don’t snap at the readers or tolerate bloggers who do. Blog networks should make sure that none of their bloggers have a superior attitude towards their readers and they also value customer service.
  • Safe. Blog networks (as well as bloggers) have the responsibility to ensure that readers’ security, privacy, etc. is not compromised when they visit a network blog. If the network is serving ads with spyware, it is the blog network’s responsibility to stop that.
  • Understanding. Blog networks also should be understanding of reader’s concerns and viewpoints. If a reader doesn’t agree with a particular blogger or blog, the blog network needs to explain the situation and be understanding and tolerant of different views, opinions, and more.

Customer Service to their Bloggers:
Blog networks also have to provide customer service to their bloggers (the bloggers in the particular blog network). Besides the main topics like being responsive, friendly, ensuring safety and security, and hopefully being understanding if something goes wrong, blog networks should also try to be:

  • Helpful. If a blogger is having a problem, it is likely in your interest (as a blog network owner/manager/person/etc.) to help the blogger. Even if the issue isn’t necessarily related to the blog, it’s best to help out. Building relationships is important and being helpful is a great way to do so.
  • Do what you say. As a blog network person, you need to do what you say. Don’t promise bloggers things that you can’t deliver and don’t promise bloggers things that you don’t have the time, skill, or connections to get done.
  • Follow-up. From both a business and customer service perspective, it is beneficial to the blog network to follow-up with their bloggers. Send out regular emails making sure everything is okay, that they don’t need help, that content is as good as usual, etc.
  • Be understanding. More blog networks have to realize that things do happen. Family members get sick, computers die, natural disasters occur, etc. – be prepared to give bloggers a chance and look at them as humans instead of just ways to generate pageviews. If you as a blog network person give the blogger a chance, they may very well pull through sooner than later and it’ll definitely increase their loyalty to your network.

Customer Service to other Bloggers:
Blog networks also have a reasonability to provide some level of customer service to non-network bloggers. They are the ones who may also be linking, spreading the word, etc. about network blogs and sooner or later, you’ll have to deal with a non-network blog.

Again, be responsive, friendly, and all of those things. If you ignore their emails, they won’t think too fondly of you.

  • Make it easy to contact you. You should have an easy to find, clearly published contact page available for bloggers and readers to see and utilize. Include links for submitting requests to be included in the network, general questions, feedback, suggestions, etc. Make sure the emails published on the page are checked regularly.
  • Common courtesy. If other bloggers have replied to your emails and helped you in the past, you better reply to their emails and help them when they need it. Even if they haven’t helped you in the past, it’s probably in your best interest to help them as well.

Customer Service to other People and Parties:
Like any person or organization, there are lots of people and parties that blog networks are obliged (and should) provide customer service to.

This includes, but certainly isn’t limited to: other blog network people, lawyers of companies or individuals that your bloggers may offend or violate some rights of, service providers (advertising companies, hosting companies, payment companies, etc.), media sources, and so on.

Use the same principles when dealing with any person or party. Be nice and respond quickly, and try your best to helpful. The point is, you should try and supply great customer service to everyone you interact with.

One Response to “Customer Service & Blog Networks”

  1. Meikah Delid said:

    Jul 30, 06 at 10:58 pm

    Very good post, Doug! What you’re saying here are very true. We are now all inter-connected, the best that we can do is to be there for each other. Keep it up!