Brands - Don't Be Scared Of Your Customers
(Today's guest post is brought to you courtesy of David Ingram)
We all are aware that on a personal level that criticism can be tough. However, we are also familiar with the fact it can often be completely justified, even if it is hard to take. For businesses this is also true and many that receive negative comments may deserve them to some degree.
Aside from deserving scathing criticism, you may also find that the way you deal with them has a more positive effect on how you are perceived than if you’d never received them at all. Actions speak louder than words and in the case of social media complaints, the way to act towards what’s written and the steps you take to resolve it can enhance your brands reputation.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when they receive criticism is to delete it. This is the biggest no-no of all and will end up with you being suspected of hiding something and result in more comments in reprisal, which is highly destructive for your image.
We all remember a time when we had to return a product or service because it was broken or didn’t deliver. We may have been dealt with rudely and never returned, in a routine fashion and thought little of it. Then again the company may have gone to the ends of the earth.
This is often done by initially acknowledging our complaint, remedying it and then going the extra mile to help us out. In such a case we probably noted the excellent service and would have been more than happy to return again. Other customers who saw the issue may have noted how well it was dealt with, and probably took positive from it too. Essentially, this is the mind set for dealing with social media complaints.
Social media is a professional sphere like the shop floor. Would you get angry on the shop floor and insult or be rude to a customer – most likely not. So, just because you are on the other end of the Internet means it is also a bad idea.
Engage the customer’s complaint and try to resolve it in as fast and friendly of manner as possible. Be positive and understanding and if you can contact them directly via telephone or in an offline manner - do. Show them you are truly sorry and that the best companies even have issues from time to time.
The Customer is Always Right – Well Nearly
The apology should of course be sincere and also done in a timely fashion as possible. Social media comes with dates underneath comments and if you slack in this area the world sees it. Whereas if you have a strong team who’s right on the ball and do so in a smart understanding manner you’re away on the right foot.
If the criticism is apt, then use it to improve your service, make you stronger and plug any weak points in your team and business. This can be the opportunity to use it for research purposes and find some real weak points. Criticism can be a real benefit if you have the right mind set and deal with it in the proper manner and can real upturn the issues you may pay a marketing company a lot of money to do.
So, in conclusion never delete comments unless they are profane and always apologise, help and try to take things off line in as fast of fashion as possible. By turning what may be perceived as a negative on its head you can benefit significantly - a true reason to embrace criticism rather than run from it.
David Ingram is a social networking addict and enjoys nothing more than looking past the likes and retweets to try and figure out what really makes social relationships work. By day he works for MySocialAgency in London, and by night he reaches out to his friends from around the world using his beloved networks.
About Adam Henige
Adam Henige is Managing Partner of Netvantage Marketing, an online marketing company specializing in, PPC and social media. Adam heads the SEO and link building efforts for Netvantage and has been a contributing blogger for industry publications like Search Engine Journal and SEOmoz.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 at 4:18 am and is filed under Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.