"Fortunately, you have no voice"

That’s the worst response to a customer issue I have ever read.  And it was directed at me, from the CTO of a new startup.  It was based on (honest, I feel) comments I made in response to a post on another blog.

So this “smart” CTO looks at my blog stats on Technorati, or somewhere, and decides he can be rude because, “I have no voice”.

My blog has little voice, he is right.  But his company will be hanging out in their own blog, other industry blogs, and on support forums.  If I had the time, where do you think I would be hanging out, always reminding this company’s customers that “they have no voice”.

Sorry – you can’t treat a customer poorly because you don’t agree with them.  You certainly can’t tell them they have no voice.

I just received an apology for the comment, so I won’t go into any more detail.  Evidently I DO have a voice, however small.

One thing this company should keep in mind – the customers that are willing to take the time to write out their thoughts on your product – good or bad, and share those thoughts with you – THOSE are your core customers – be the comments positive or negative.  Only people that give a shit about you will take the time to write about you.  Treat them well.  Encourage their voice.  GIVE them a voice.

Never attempt to stifle them.  It can no longer be done.  The web is out of your control.