Social media's direct, interactive communication offers your business a great opportunity to obtain feedback on products and services, allows you to build more personalized relationships and it provides the opportunity to learn more about your client base through your non business postings.
Social Media is a phenomenal customer service tool. Rather than the impersonal 'call our toll free number' or the customer having a question on Friday evening and finding out they need to wait until Monday to talk to someone, they can get immediate, personal attention. I've even set up a Facebook group specifically for social media Q & A for this purpose.
As per Sir Isaac Newton's Third Law of Motion, for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction, with the good there comes the bad.
While we're not talking motion, and thus no guarantee of and equal and opposite reaction, just as easily as social media can allow for the positive comments and customer service support, it can be a platform for venting grievance and frustrations.
How you handle the negative can have a greater impact than the original post. Handle it right and that 'Negative' can be turned into a 'Positive'. Far too many businesses fail to monitor brand mentions to even know a negative review or comment has been left, fail to respond to them in an appropriate time or even respond in a professional manner.
What follows is the perfect example of how to handle a negative post on Facebook (any social media or public platform for that matter). As I work with the brand in question to monitor their reputation, the original response was able to be posted within 10 hours. That initial response was discussed, the content copy edited and the recommendation made that it come directly from the owner accepting full responsibility. The result - a positive outcome (both for the customer and the brand's reputation).
Names have been replaced.
Normally I don't do this but I am beyond frustrated. I took my car into the XXXX on Valencia last September because I was having transmission/solenoid valve issues. They told me I needed a transmission rebuild. It was in the $2700 range. Well, after that, my car experienced the SAME problem. They said it was fixed? Well it wasn't. I took it in two more times before they told me the alternator was bad. That was another $500. Well, a week goes by and THE SAME THING happens again!! Same problem! Finally I told them I'm not paying another penny. Y'all better get this right. I give them props for paying for a rental car for me. That was awesome. But they had my car for 13 days. I got it back today. Yes they didn't charge. Darn right they shouldn't have. But guess what?! IT DID IT AGAIN!!! How XXXX, HOW do you have a vehicle for that long, take it apart and put it back together again, HOW DOES IT STILL HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM??!!! I am at my wits end with you!! You have always been courteous at the front desk, you got me a rental car. But this is getting ridiculous. 5 or 6 times in the shop since September and almost $3500 later, I've gotten nowhere. Y'all need to get your crap together and fix it or give me a FULL refund!! Or you could buy me a new car and you can keep mine since you like having it so much.
XXXXXX, I would like to thank you for your patience in dealing with the repair of your vehicle and apologies for any inconvenience it may have cause you. It is and always has been our goal to repair our customer vehicles right the first time, In this case it seems that we have fallen short.
With your permission, I would like to arrange the pickup of your vehicle and supply you with alternative transportation, as to allow me the opportunity to get to the bottom of your vehicle condition.
I will be contacting you by phone to make the necessary arrangements if that's acceptable?
President / Co-Owner
Thank you for being patient with me as I rant. It may not have been the best way but you've been gracious. I would love to have you get to the bottom of it! Thank you! I look forward to your call.
XXXXXX, again we would like to thank you for your patience in getting to the bottom of your car care condition. Hopefully with the newly installed transmission you will no longer experience the conditions you have had in the past and will get back to enjoying your vehicle. Again, thank you for your patronage and support of our business!
Oh absolutely!! The car is smooth operating now! Ya'll have been awesome, top notch and superb about getting it fixed. You went above and beyond what I would've expected and I have been so pleased. So thank YOU!
Thanks again for the opportunity. FYI...The guys really appreciated the cupcakes!
Social media is a great asset for businesses to create and build personal relationships, even when the initial interaction is negative. If caught quickly and responded to timely and professionally, you might just find your reputation bolstered AND cupcakes for your staff!
Are you monitoring brand mentions? Are you handling those negative comments properly?