Social media is a fantastic thing for small businesses, giving you direct marketing access to your customers and allowing your brand to be a part of their every day and every movement. Thinking back 40 years ago, brands had nothing like the access we have to customers today – but that works both ways.
Never before have customers had such power over and access to brands, and importantly their customers. A bad review or write up can quickly spread like wildfire through your audience and can be a real blow to potential customer opinion of your brand – particularly if it’s untrue. So how do you best handle potentially damaging content?
To delete or not to delete – that is the question.
As with most bad things in life, the first reaction for most brands to a bad review, post or comment is to delete it immediately. And there really are two schools of thought on this one, as to whether or not that is the best course of action. For some, deleting is the only option – if someone is very aggressive and clearly not able to be dealt with rationally, then, by all means, delete before things get worse.
If it was simply a bad experience with the brand on a one-off occasion, I personally recommend using some basic customer service to try to rectify the situation as smoothly as possible. More on that a bit later. But it’s good to note that sometimes appropriately handling a negative situation can sometimes be more helpful to your brand credibility than just deleting and ignoring your customer’s complaints.
Commenting as an expert
Sometimes the comments that you get from customers will be straight out wrong. The best way to diffuse this kind of situation can be to comment as a technical expert in your field, which is a great way to both addresses the incorrect information and to really cement your position as the authority in your field and gain customer service credibility. If a customer comes out and criticises something that you have done, whether it is a product or service situation, use it as an opportunity to express a valid and correct view about why your company or product does it that way. It can be quite simple and is a great way to ensure that your brand comes out of the incident smelling of roses.
The basics of customer service on social
Here is the fast 5 for customer service on social
- Remember your P’s and Q’s – always say please, thank you, hello and sincerely. This way you come across as incredibly polite and respectful, even when dealing with someone who is not.
- Attempt to take comments offline as soon as you can – this is the best way to both offer personal service and to ensure that an inflammatory situation doesn’t go completely public. It’s best to make sure to address some of the concerns raised by the clients before taking it to messenger or email to ensure that the company appears to have handled the situation
- Address everything – even if it is a really positive review, make sure to thank and reply to your customers every time they interact with the brand. This will ensure they continue to do so!
- Respond as quickly as possible – this one has been latched onto by Facebook, in particular, offering businesses better cred for quickly responding to customers. But it should go without saying, whenever you get a comment, message or question from a client, speak to them as quickly as you can to offer the best service.
- Remember the keyboard warriors – it’s very easy to hide behind a keyboard and make comments so don’t fire back after aggressive or inflammatory comments. Sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away.
Its important to remember that on social media, a bad review can make or break someone elses opinion. But by cleverly handling a situation, you can quickly diffuse the situation, sometimes to your advantage – and that makes a great opportunity for a great customer experience.
If you would like to talk about managing your social media channels, please get in touch via my Contact page, I would love to hear from you!