It will happen sooner or later. Someone will complain about your business on social media, and how you respond could affect your image more than your paid advertising ever will. The Internet remembers everything forever, and if you blow the response it might be the most difficult problem you’ll ever face.
For better or worse, social media is now the forum for most person-to-person conversation. Even when there is no specific recipient for something, and it’s just an “update”, a social media post can go “viral” without warning (or apparent reason) and be seen by millions in a very short time. Whether you are a small local business or a major corporation, social media is part of your customer’s lives, and you’d be smart to be right there in it with them.
We all like to see positive remarks about ourselves and our companies, and know that people think highly of us. Praise is music to our ears. But since your business is run by human beings, things will go wrong. And when that mistake makes it to your customer, you will hear about it in no uncertain terms. What should you do?
First, don’t ignore it. Respond as quickly as possible. People expect a response in under an hour. Thirty minutes if it’s during business hours. Even if that’s not possible for you, respond as quickly as you can. Thank them for telling you about the situation, and give them an easy way to contact you directly. Then, fix the problem. They’re likely to post again that you paid attention to them. They certainly will if you ignore them, or fail in your response.
Don’t get into an argument online. You’ll just look defensive, and it will appear that you don’t respect your customers.
Don’t delete unflattering comments. As long as they’re clearly not nonsense, you’re better off leaving them up. You’ll come across as willing to listen, especially if you respond positively and resolve the complaint.
If social media is a mystery to you, find someone in your company that lives and breathes the Internet. Set them up to be your eyes and ears, and let them show you how to make it your best and most profitable connection to your consumers.
Social media will tell you where you stand with your customers. Are you listening?