Social media has made it very easy for customers to post anything and everything they want about your brand—the good, the bad, and the ugly. At IDealogic®, we like to turn limitations into possibilities, which is the perfect thing to do when an angry customer starts bashing your brand online. It’s definitely not a good thing to read a horrible review or comment regarding your business, brand, product, or service; however, by giving the consumer the understanding that you’re listening and you care about how they feel, you can essentially turn a bad scenario into a wonderful opportunity for your business.
SmartBlog on Social Media recently posted a great plan of action when dealing with an angry customer on a social media rampage. Great minds think alike, as this plan is exactly what we follow via Sociability™, our social media management department. We, like SmartBlog, have applied the following steps to our social media management strategy:
Social Media Management Strategy
- Create a negative review strategy. By having an action plan in place, your brand management team will know exactly what steps to follow when dealing with an upset customer.
- Have brand advocates to call upon for help. Established, loyal customers are excellent brand advocates, because they can speak up for you! Those customers that are loyal to your business are so for a reason—they feel valued, they love your product or service, they experience great customer service on a consistent basis, etc. Their honest feedback can help an angry customer see that negative experiences are atypical for your business.
- Have an online comments policy. Wherever you allow comments and feedback from customers, be sure to post your brand’s comment policy stating that offensive and/or inappropriate content is not allowed. Then, if an angry customer goes too far with their rant, it has already been made public that you will not allow the content to remain online.
- Monitor your online brand presence. Google Alerts is a great free tool that will keep you informed. It’s very important to keep a watchful eye and ear out for what is being said about your brand. There are more places that consumers can post about your business than just on your social media profiles, and a monitoring tool will help you stay in the know.
- Respond with an apology. Communicate that you are sorry about their negative experience, and let them know that you would like to resolve the issue immediately. Try to take the discussion offline. Provide a phone number or an email address to contact a representative directly, and/or ask them to private message their contact information in order for you to contact them.
- Remain observant. An angry customer may continue to post comments in regards to their original complaint, so it’s important to observe their responses and respond when necessary. Even if the customer just can’t get past their issue, other customers will see that you tried to make things right, and your positive responses will be respected.
- Maintain the lines of communication. Once you reach out and engage the customer, follow up with that person at a later date. Ensure that their concerns were met and/or that any special arrangement (a refund or free service, perhaps) was delivered as promised. By conveying to the customer that they are important, and that you value their business, it is very likely that you will turn that angry customer into a happy brand advocate.
Read the full SmartBlog on Social Media article by Jennifer MacDonald here.