10/09/12 Tuesday Training: How to Respond to Negative Feedback on Social Media Sites – Part 1
Social media sites are where people go to speak their mind on anything from the brand of coffee they’re currently drinking to their political affiliations. Instead of the beauty parlor or a customer service hotline, people are going to Facebook and Twitter to share gossip, recommend a brand and vent about a horrible product or service.
In the realm of recommendations, this is great news for your brand. When it comes to the "venting" aspect however, this can pose a little more of a challenge. But view this challenge as an opportunity. Sure, it’s not ideal for someone to say anything negative about your brand to someone ever. But as is true in all customer service, complaint resolution can be an incredibly positive step in building the customer relationship. On top of that, it gives the rest of the world a chance to see the kind of specific attention you give to your customers. And when a truly solid customer service reputation is built, you’ll become the go-to brand – the celebrity in your niche.
By following the steps in this three part series, you’ll have a head start in managing this challenge and building relationships with your customers.
- Monitor your brand
This is a good practice in general. It helps to keep your marketing feet grounded so you can really understand why and how customers are engaging with your brand. From a customer service standpoint, it’s imperative. If you’re not out there monitoring your brand on the worldwide web, things can get out of control fast.
One way to monitor is by using a site called socialmention.com. (Learn other great ways to use this tool here) Type in the name of your brand and the free site will show you posts from various social media sites containing those words.
Another even more important habit to develop is checking comments on your blog posts, Facebook posts, tweets, etc. After all, the whole point of posting updates and writing blogs is to engage with your customer. But if you’re not reading the responses, you’re simply not engaging. What a waste of time for both you and the customer!
One company that actually sells social media management software failed in this area. A dissatisfied customer made a negative comment on one of the company’s blog posts. The comment wasn’t dealt with, and over time, the customer became increasingly frustrated and had no problem leaving those feelings in further comments. Soon others joined the conversation about the poor reflection on the company’s management software if the company itself isn’t even able to manage its own social media.
By the time the company actually started to take part in the negative conversation on their blog post, people were already being referred to other products and services. Things got totally out of control.
If they had simply been paying attention to their customer in the first place, the conversation would have gone much differently. Likewise, if you are actively monitoring what’s being said about your brand on social media sites, you’ll be able to take part in the conversation. And if you’re diligent enough, you might even be able to jump into those conversations quickly enough to change the tone, resolve the issue, and build a strong customer relationship.
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