Making the Most of Social Media Critics
It is true when they say there is no such thing as bad publicity. But man, reading some of those mean and hateful comments on social media outlets sure can be painful! In today’s internet that is just par for the course. People are going to provide feedback and by hiding behind their computers they will freely say some of the worst things imaginable.
So what should you do about it?
Social media is firmly part of our world now and consumers have jumped at the chance to be heard. But this creates quite the quandary for a business. How do you handle all of that feedback? The positive stuff seems rather easy to deal with but negativity can be hard to stomach.
The simple answer is to embrace it; all of it.
The beautiful thing about social media from a business standpoint is that allows customer interaction on a very specific, virtual level. Now you have a very wonderful opportunity to touch base with so many people easily. While some might few dealing with customers this way tedious and annoying, instead it should be looked at in the exact opposite way!
How annoying is it when a customer calls up to complain or walks into a business to complain? You have to stop whatever you were doing and jump on the problem right there. Usually there is a lot of talking by them and listen by you. From an efficiency standpoint that is extremely wasteful. But when you have an open forum via social media for customers to outlet praise and frustration then responses can be made on a more scheduled basis. Benefits include:
- Responding on your schedule
- Availability for research and more detailed initial responses
- Ability to respond to multiple customers at the same time
- Regular responses demonstrates your level of attention and customer service to other customers
- Opportunity for ideas and information
What to Monitor
Ideally you will have select places to discuss issues and problems with customers. You might have a Facebook page, a Discussion Board on your website, or even check the reviews of your business on places like Yelp. Really anywhere your customers are talking about you is a good place to be. If you don’t have some sort of forum set-up then take the time to make one. If people don’t have a place to be heard they will more than likely create one on their own. At least if you make it yourself then monitoring is much easier.
A few companies are known for requiring managers to review the feedback they receive on Yelp daily. They take it very seriously just as a comments or feedback card. They will contact the customer to resolve issues and do the best they can to ensure they have done everything possible to retain business. While some people might think that is going the extra mile, it really isn’t; that should be standard operating procedure.
Customer Service is Appreciated
Even in a digital age, providing quality customer service is highly appreciated by customers. As much as people are willing to accept bad service with great prices on products, they are also willing to support and talk about businesses with good service. The two types of things you see shared on social media are stories about good service and stories about bad service. You never hear about mediocre service or just “so-so” help.
It can also make you aware of issues customers might have that you aren’t aware of. If you run a business with a physical storefront as well and a particular employee is rude to customers wouldn’t you want to know about it? Even if you aren’t fixing a specific problem, acknowledging an issue can go a long ways towards building positive feedback from customers.
Critics aren’t the Enemy
When you have to deal with people who seem to want to do nothing more than rip apart every aspect of you, your business, and how you run your business you need to remember that they aren’t the enemy. Sure it would be great to just ignore them or delete the comment but that is not productive or even proactive. Even if you attempt to appease this critic and fail, by doing it in a professional and friendly manner you are showing off to everyone else how far you will go to make them happy.
The average person understands that some people live for posting negative complaints on social sites. So while at first it might seem like that negative review would bring your product down, having that chance to respond shows your true colors.
The Bottom Line
Over the past few years it has been made very apparent that social media is not going away; at best it will slowly evolve. So far now you are stuck with it, and the numerous people who have nothing better to do than complain about every little thing in life. But it is much better to embrace the issue rather than avoid it.