As social networks quickly become a more integral part of everyday life (it’s true, as I’m writing this I’m updating my Facebook status about how I’m fuming over the latest Twitter Fail Whale), more and more people are using the channels to vent their frustrations about everything from how they ran out of sugar that morning to their most recent experiences with businesses the world over. And it’s all public.
Some businesses have suffered more than others from the public hammerings from their customers, just look at the disastrous result of the McDonald’s #McDstories campaign if you need an example, but there are also a variety of ways you can keep your customers happy online and even turn the most negative comments around.
Be everywhere; use all the networks
You never know where a negative comment can appear or what networks your customers may use the most so it’s best to cover all bases. Facebook and Twitter may seem like the most obvious ones, but the rate of signups on Google + is still growing and users can leave tips with their check-ins on 4Square, some of which would put any future customer off immediately. Trustpilot, Tripadvisor, and Yelp are other places where people frequently leave feedback depending on your industry.
You can’t just sit there and wait for the positive feedback to come flooding in. Let your current fan base know about your social presence and encourage positive feedback to get the ball rolling, in between occasionally unrelated conversations and topics.
It’s not just 9-5!
Now, obviously, there are limits to this but you never know when someone will need your help or when some negative feedback will need some instant action before it spirals out of control. Smartphones have made it so our social channels are always at our fingertips so sync your company accounts too. After all, it doesn’t even take five minutes to pop over and check everything’s OK.
Treat all your customers as though they’re your top customers
It’s important that every single one of your customers feels as though they are a valued member of your community and network. Treating them as such will keep them coming back.
Don’t be brought down by the negative stuff
We’ve all received negative feedback at some point. There isn’t single person or business out there that hasn’t. But just because you’ve received a nasty tweet or negative review, it doesn’t mean you should sit there and beat yourself up about it. Take every negative comment and use it as an opportunity to prove that person wrong. Find out what they want and need and do your best to get it sorted. One of the joys of social media is that your efforts to resolve a problem and help your customer will be seen by the public, impress onlookers and even act as an assurance to potential customers of your high levels of customer service.