I tend to work with a lot of new start-ups and small businesses throughout the UK, and one questions that is always asked is “should I be on social media sites?” The short and simple answer to this is yes. Social media is a powerful tool for brands of all types. It helps them connect, engage, and establish trust with current and prospective clients, increase brand awareness, website traffic and ultimately increase sales.
Occasionally some small businesses will be adamant that they do not want a social media presence. I’ve found that the number one reason for this, is fear of negative feedback from customers and even competitors. We all hate getting negative feedback, especially if it’s targeted at our businesses. Although when trying to grow or improve your business constructive feedback can be one of your most helpful resources. It will usually highlight key areas in which you can improve on. Dealing with negative feedback correctly is fundamental to running a successful business.
Ignore them – Don’t think that if you don’t reply or ignore comments that they will go away. When customers complain at your place of business you don’t ignore them so try not to do this when they use social media or other online methods like tickets or emails.
Delete them – If people can’t see it, then it didn’t happen. The only thing worse that ignoring negative comments is to delete them. Deleting a comment will only add to the anger of a customer and may cause them to react/ have a rant by telling all their followers & friends how your business just removed their comments and how awful your customer service is. It’s worth noting that the average Facebook and Twitter user has over 100 connections. So a post on their account ranting about your business could cost you customers you don’t even have yet.
Tell them their wrong – Remember the old adage: The customer is always right – no matter how wrong he is! Getting into a debate about who is in the right will only cause more friction and encourage others join in.
I believe that when it comes to complaints that there is only one way to resolve them be it online, face to face or over the telephone, and that is to offer a sincere apology and a solution. This will turn a seaming negative scenario into positive. When you deal with complaints effectively, disgruntled customers will tell their friends how awesome your company is and what great customer service you offer. This will in turn gain customers trust with your brand.
Just remember that no businesses is perfect customers will get upset and will complain. Think of dealing with negatives on social media a way to show how awesome your customer service and after sales are!