Why is it that negative comments on social media always generate more interest than positive ones? You know what they say, misery loves company! It is imperative for businesses to have a plan in place to respond to complaints in the right way and via the right channel. Social media has become a customer service venue for your customers.
Customers are flocking to the platforms where they know they’ll be heard and, more importantly, where they know they’ll get a response. This is why Twitter has become a prime avenue for customer interaction with companies. According to research most customers consider three things: where the brand is active, where the customer thinks he will get the best response and how important response time is.
So let’s make a game plan for responding to irate customers.
1) Not responding is not an option
Edison Research and Jay Baer, author of “Hug Your Haters”, conducted a study about the responsiveness consumers expect from businesses. During their research, they discovered that customers get a response on social platforms about 50 percent of the time, which means companies are doing themselves — and their customers — a disservice. According to their findings, failing to respond on social media can trigger a 43% decrease in customer advocacy; a reply, however, can give you a 20% bump.
2) Find instances where your company is mentioned
Many companies believe that Twitter has become the primary sounding board, but in actuality 71% of all complaints on social media are actually posted on Facebook. Only 3% of tweets about customer service issues call out the company’s so to find all your mentions, employ a social media listening software, and always set up Google Alerts for your company.
3) Empathy is key
You can’t change what happened to upset your customer, but you can control over what happens next. Adopt the BEET strategy: Be Empathetic Every Time.
Follow this example by Wink Frozen Desserts:
A customer bashed Wink’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free frozen desserts on Facebook so CMO Jordan Pierson replied with a sincere apology and offered a refund. “While we hope that everyone will love and enjoy Wink as much as we do, we realize that not everyone will. If we can help, please send us an email to email@example.com. Thanks for giving Wink a try!” His response put a positive spin on the product with empathy that makes you feel great about the brand.
4) Only reply twice
The rule is to never reply to a customer more than twice in a public forum. Further conversation should take place behind the scenes. First, apologize and show empathy to the first complaint. Second, if the customer complains again, apologize again and offer to discuss the issue in private. Your goal isn’t to satisfy the unhappy customer; it’s to go on record so your whole audience can see you care.
If you answered the headline with a yes – give yourself a major pat on the back. You are out there setting the standard for others to follow (And please, get in touch so we can get you signed on for a guest blog spot). If you answered “no, our social customer care is most definitely not kicking ass” – don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve curated five thought-provoking blogs that will help you get on the path to best-in-class social customer care. Whether you’re working with an outsourced strategic partner or whether you are operating with an in-house customer service solution, these posts are must-read content as you work on improving your customer experience on social media.
5) Watch your characters
Certain social media platforms only allow for a certain number of characters, which could cut off your response and lead to misinterpretation. Make sure you include links for the full response or provide a contact email for customers to voice further concerns.
Is good customer service really valuable? A study from Harvard Business Review asked that question and their findings were fascinating. A response, even with an angry customer, can boost the amount the customer is willing to pay for services. So get your customer service plan in place and start responding today!