Does your business have a social media presence? If not, change that. It’s fairly simple to set up, and is free. Besides that, social media is where your customers are living. Regardless of age or economic status, customers are using social media more than ever before with over 75% of the US population owning some form of social media account.
With social media, you give your customers real time access to your business. Companies and organizations are suddenly able to build relationships at all stages with the buyer. Potential customers can research from their own home what you sell, where you are located, and who you employ. Keep your information current and up to date. The simple task of having correct information listed online, is a key component of good customer service. Customers are calling businesses less and less, and looking online to do their research prior to making a purchasing decision.
Social platforms provide you the ability to communicate with your current consumers and gain new ones, too. How? Through offering exceptional, personalized, and fast customer service.
Customer service seems to be what consumers care most about, yet many business struggle to perfect. Business owners consistently hear about when it is bad. It seems that people are quick to go online and discuss when a company has dropped the ball. It gets viral, and spreads through word of mouth, and sometimes …gasp…through social media. Social media can definitely be used to spread the bad news, but as a business, you should be taking these opportunities to come up with a strategy to redeem yourself and show that even though we all have bad moments, you are there for the customer. Social media can be an amazing tool. Don’t see the posts about a negative experience as a threat, but rather as an opportunity to show all those watching, that you are available, listening and ready to redeem yourself.
Mind you that customers can, for good or bad, voice concerns or issues with your establishment online, but if you have an online presence, this is where you get the chance to shine. Show appreciation and thanks for the praises posted about your business. And for the negative comments, don’t delete them. That can actually escalate the problem. And don’t ignore. Once posted, that is the moment to engage and let not only that specific customer, but anyone following or watching online know that you want to fix the issue. A personalized reply, with an effort to make things right is the key.
“Hi (username)! While we hope that everyone will love and enjoy shopping with us, we realize that not everyone has a positive experience. If we can help, please send us an email to email@example.com. Thanks for giving our business a try and let us make things right!”
The key is to limit your responses to issues raised on social platforms. You want to engage, but you don’t need to get into an argument. Responding twice is all that is necessary. Apologize and show empathy to the first complaint. If the customer complains again, apologize again and offer to discuss by email or direct message. Your goal should be to publicly display your company values, as well as diffuse the situation.
Social media is growing every day, and it’s not going away. Bad experiences happen in every business situation, and handling them quickly and professionally, is a great way to turn an angry customer into a loyal follower. Engage them positively, and recover their business, as well as the business of all of those watching.