The world of social media can be a wonderful place to build community and customer loyalty, but all that positive buzz can come with a price. The easy accessibility of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter means that upset customers can issue their complaints to the whole world in a matter of seconds. So, how can business owners stay in touch with customers concerns without getting into a public spat? Read on for tips on how to respond to social media and preserve both your brand and your bottom line.
Stay Calm, and Focus on Solutions
Depending on the complaint and the, ahem, word choice used to voice it, you may have an initial reaction that’s less than professional. Before you do anything, take a moment to breathe and consider that what you do next has the possibility of affecting not only this customer, but your business’ public profile. Is the person using profanity or other inappropriate language on your page? If so, feel free to delete it without a response. Never engage an abusive or otherwise inappropriate customer in a public forum–these exchanges rarely end well. If, however, the customer is simply voicing a legitimate complaint, then it can be in your best interest to respond in a calm, professional, solution oriented manner. Remember, you are responding not only to this customer, but to the countless customers who will observe this exchange. Focus on what you can do to fix the problem, and the customer will often respond positively since they will feel they’ve been heard by a real person who cares about their opinion.
Personalize Your Approach
While it can be tempting to simply ignore online complaints altogether, a 2011 report made clear that fully half of all people who tweet a complaint at a company are expecting a response. Ignoring it may seem like taking the high road, but it can add to the problem by making your company appear indifferent to their customer base. Instead, respond within a reasonable time frame, and address the customer by name and/or Twitter handle. Your response should be specific to their complaint; avoid generic canned lines that will come off as insincere. Your response is also a great opportunity to thank the customer for caring enough about your company to be communicating. Their complaint can be an open door to a repaired relationship, and greater loyalty down the line.
If the customer is responsive, try to get the conversation away from a public forum as soon as possible. Offer to communicate with the client via direct message, email, or encourage them to call your company directly. Work out the logistics of the solution directly, and avoid any lengthy back and forth, especially about particulars like refunds or discounts. To make the most of those reputation rebuilding calls, consider using a professional call center service, like MAP Communications. Mobile and landline customers who call business that use MAP Communications never have to be on hold, and the total call time is usually quite short. With services that include live 24 hour answering plus virtual receptionists, MAP Communications can keep your customers happy and help repair relationships.
For more information on how MAP Communications can help you problem solve your social media snafus, contact us today.