While social media is a great way to interact with your customers, it can also put your reputation on the line. Lucy Hall takes a look at the responsibility that comes with social media forums…
Think about passing the responsibility on to someone else within customer service, or respond in this manner: “Dear (customer) Sorry to hear that your experience wasn’t exceptional. Could you email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see what we can do.” This is enough to show you care to the public and you are also able to take the conversation to a more private platform to resolve any issues – job done.
Dealing with this negatively and publicly is a dangerous game. Businesses have been broken due to the negative way that they have responded to negative feedback on social media. A good example of when it goes wrong was when some US small business owners who had previously appeared on TV show Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares received an influx of bad reviews. Instead of trying to rectify the situation, or apologise for their mistakes, they took to social media to insult their customers. Needless to say, they received even more bad publicity. The actual posts themselves are too offensive for print.
Upset customers and trolls are different things, normally your customers who head online to complain have a genuine grievance, whereas trolls are just out to cause trouble. A troll’s purpose is to make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response.
Lucy Hall is a social media and online marketing consultant and founder of Social Day, the social media forum for SMEs. See details of the London event at http://socialday.co.uk/