Don’t Fight Fire with Fire – Dealing with Disgruntled Followers
Social media challenged and changed traditional marketing practices forever by providing quick and cost-effective methods to reach large audiences over the web. Businesses can now interact with their individual customers directly through messaging and commenting services provided on most platforms.
While this does add a boost to customer engagement efforts, it leaves brands vulnerable to negative comments and messages from those who may not have enjoyed their experiences in dealing with your business. Dealing with disgruntled customers on social media is a complex PR situation that many companies will encounter, especially those involved in the retail or hospitality industries.
The following are some tips to successfully resolve customer conflict on your company’s social media accounts:
Stay Calm at All Costs
If an unsatisfied audience member is using aggressive or unsavory word choices in his or her posts, remain calm, cool, collected and professional.
When engaging with a disgruntled customer, convey to the customer that you are a person, not an automated system. This could be accomplished by simply putting a dash with your name at the end of the message. This will reassure the customer that their issue will be received, appropriately addressed or escalated.
Provide a Personal, Alternative Contact Method
Mishandling conflicts on your company’s social media platforms will turn into unwanted negative publicity for your brand. Rather, make a conscious effort to move any interaction between you and the customer off the social channel. Privately message the individual your own personal email or phone number, so that they can connect with you directly. This will show the customer that you want this dispute rectified as much as they do.
Once Resolved, Let the Communication Speak for Itself
After agreeing on a solution with your disgruntled customer away from social media, there’s no need to remove any of their negative comments from your pages. Displaying maturity and responsibility in your reactions to their complaints will only make your brand look better. This will speak to the rest of your followers and show them that your company cares about the individual customer as well as the audience base at large.