They say negative attention gets around faster than positive attention. Studies have shown that if someone had a bad experience at your business, they’re more likely to run to social media, like Facebook or Twitter. According to research from VB Insight, consumers complain on social media about local or corporate companies about 879 million times a year. Of these people, 10% make a complaint every day.
If that isn’t already bad enough, The Social Habit claims that 42% of complaining costumers expect a response from your official business account as fast as 60 minutes. This sounds a bit alarming, especially when most companies that actually evaluate reputation management can take as long as 6 months just to RESPOND to criticism. So basically, your social media consumers do NOT like to wait.
Realistically, the majority of you can’t go a single day without checking your Facebook or email. So your social media customer service needs to be more responsive, especially considering the fact that the conversations are up and available for everyone to see.
Think about it this way, the larger companies hire people specifically to manage their social media, so there is someone right there to quickly respond. Smaller businesses don’t tend to have these employees and are actually more likely to have those unhappy customers blasting your accounts, instead of writing you a simple decent review. Now, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to protect your business from such negative feedback.
You want to use every complaint to help grow your business in a positive way and attract loyal customers. Start with the complaint and use it as a catalyst to start a discussion on your values, mission statement and customer service skills. The LAST thing you would want to do is ignore or block these customers completely.
Follow these rules for dealing with criticism
1. Be sure to monitor your social media accounts. Set up “alerts” so you can see whenever your name is being mentioned. Always remember, the longer you make a customer wait, the madder they get.
2. Don’t even think about quoting policy and actually talk and connect with your customer. Social media is for human interaction, not talking like a robot. As soon as the customer realizes you are a real human being by using your name and the client’s name, the sooner the customer’s attitude will change.
3. Only apologize if you are sincere about it. Don’t give a fake apology, actually MEAN it and provide your customer with what they want, IF your company was in the wrong. Amazon and FedEx are some of many companies that apologized publicly for their employees behavior and those apologies meant a lot and showed a lot.
4. Lastly, do whatever you can and to your best ability to fix the problem. Figure how much it will cost to fix the problem versus a loyal, guaranteed returning customer that continues to buy from your company.
It’s all in what you want the outcome to be. Would you rather have a lifelong loyal customer or an enemy to your business? It’s as simple as paying attention, apologizing and showing empathy, and finally fixing the problem. If you want a successful business then you should really focus on customer service and satisfaction.
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