Want to know how to respond to negative comments about your business on the internet?  Take a page from Kevin O’Keefe, CEO and Founder of LexBlog.  As you can tell from the title of this post, I had a beef with LexBlog recently (see my rant below).  Mr. O’Keefe took the initiative to contact me immediately by phone, email, and replying to my tweet on the subject.  He let me know what they are doing to fix the problem.  And he never once asked me to remove this post.

I thought about deleting it after talking to Kevin and being satisfied that they are working on a resolution, but then I thought the better idea would be to highlight it as a learning experience.  In todays connected world, there will be times in everyone’s business when customer complaints hit the social networks.  People get frustrated, they feel as though their problem is not addressed, so they turn to the only outlet left…complaining to social media.  It will happen to all of us.  The test then for every business is how you respond.  And Kevin O’Keefe responded directly and honestly.  In the end that is what we all want, to be heard.

We all understand that problems arise from time to time.  But we want to know people hear us and care about us enough to address the problem.  After all, we are in a service business, so serving must come first in everything we do.

Thank you LexBlog for hearing me.


My Original Rant:

This blog, which we post to weekly, is hosted and supported by a company called LexBlog.  I love LexBlog, they have been a great platform on which to spread education on the topics I love most: Trust and Will disputes.  I have been a valued LexBlog client for over four years, and yet at the moment I hate them.  Why?

I view my internet services, such as LexBlog, the same way you should view your lawyers: they just work.  Don’t explain the technical stuff to me, that’s your job.  Just let me do my thing and I will trust that you will (1) keep my best interests in mind, (2) don’t do anything to harm me, and (3) let me know when you need a decision or input from me.

So this past week LexBlog did a major update to their platform.  I have no idea why, and I don’t want to know why.  I just want this service to work.  It does not.  I went to the trouble of podcasting my blog posts so people would have a choice to either read my articles or listen to them (or both).  LexBlog told me to use Podbean to host by podcasts, I did so.  LexBlog told me I could embed by podcasts, I did so.  LexBlog does an update to its system and I can no longer (1) embed by podcasts, and (2) I am told not to use Podbean any more.  Grrrr.  Frustration at its finest.

So this makes me think of some of the horror stories I hear from people about their lawyers.  People look to lawyers for advice, they look to lawyers for directions, they look to lawyers for comfort, and then what you are told turns out to be false.  Or worse yet, your lawyer tells you not to do something you were previously told to do.  Grrr.  The frustration starts.

But all is not lost.  It starts with good communication.  If I am going to change course on a legal matter, which does have to happen at times based on what facts or evidence are discovered, then it is incumbent on me to communicate the problem and new direction to my client.  Just like changing a platform that makes it impossible to use Podbean should be communicated to me.  Preferably BEFORE the change occurs so I am prepared for the eventual outcome.

More importantly, if a change occurs on a client’s case, it is incumbent on me to provide whatever guidance and support for that change that I can.  It may be easy for me to see the solution to the change, but I have the benefit of understanding the technical side of the law–a perspective not shared by my client.  And clients should not be expected to know the technicalities.  Instead, it is my job to explain the way out.  It may not be an easy solution or welcome news, but it is still my job to explain it and implement it as quickly as I can.

So I now hate LexBlog just as many people end up hating their lawyers.  But that does not mean I can’t get over it.  With some support and guidance from either LexBlog or maybe a new company, I can get on my way and leave this frustration behind.  People do not intend to be frustrating after all, it is just a by product of trying to do something better and not thinking of the consequences of those decisions.  This is a good chance for me to remember how my clients may feel at times and be more conscientious about the turbulent train of litigation.  With understanding and support, we can get through touch changes.