Changing the Conversation: Tips on Responses for Online Commenters

Social media and the variety of platforms to get the word out about your brewery, its products, and whatever else is going on in the life of the company is great and a helpful tool to expand your business.

It also means a direct connection to a consumer. So that can mean dealing with more than just praise of a new release. Responding to issues and negative comments may actually have the most impact on a frustrated consumer.

“Explaining why a favorite beer is no longer in distribution, why dogs aren’t allowed currently due to our current set up in a pandemic or making things right with a customer who had a beer can with a leaky seam are all examples of feedback that work positively in winning back or appeasing a commenter,” said MadTree Associate Brand Manager, Trevor Self.

Jack’s Abby firmly believes it is critical to respond to both positive and negative reviews and comments at a healthy rate.

“If our customers take the time to share with us then we need to do our best to listen,” said Rob Day, Senior Director of Marketing. “Our policy is quite simple: “Be Honest. Be Humble.” We enter each engagement with the possibility that we messed up and will have to own up to it and make it right.

“Sometimes we did mess up, and other times not so much, but that’s not the time for a victory lap. If the customer is fair, respectful, and honest with us, we’ll always go the extra step to keep them happy.”

The great majority of the time Misty Vandergriend, Marketing Manager for Empyrean Brewing, said the interaction can turn a bad experience into a good one or the brewery can learn from it.

“People just want to be heard, receive an apology, and not ignored,” she said.

One experience for the Nebraska brewery was a customer got beer from a retailer that was expired.

“We apologized, sent some swag, notified the distributor and the store,” Vandergriend said. “The customer thanked us for our efforts and will continue to be a loyal drinker. If we did nothing, we might have lost them as a customer.”

​Block 15‘s approach is to try and understand ​a consumer’s point of view, ​said Pascal Fritz, Marketing Manager and Creative Director, and reply with thoughtful, insightful feedback behind the decisions that ​the Oregon brewery​ makes.​

​”[If] they feel like they’re being heard, and they typically understand the reason behind our response…even if they don’t agree​,” Fritz said.​

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