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Social Media, Angry Customers, and Happy Endings

Jul 29, 2013 | Blog

Social media has become an extremely effective way for a business to generate new leads and support your sales funnel. In fact, recent research by Vision Critical found that 40% of people that “favorited” an item on sites such as Pinterest or retweeted an item through a social network, ended up purchasing that item. With presence on social networks, it becomes critical to manage your social media process and monitor not only what consumers say about your brand online, but what your staff says as well. This is especially a concern of industries whose advertising is heavily regulated such as legal, spirits, and healthcare. Social media management is as important as the social media itself.

Social media management involves leveraging the aforementioned social media platforms, along with mobile marketing, to oversee and monitor the process while driving to increase a business’ visibility and customer base, all while attracting and retaining a growing list of loyal followers. In short, there is a lot involved to do it correctly.

Facebook has more than five hundred million active users using the service for almost an hour per day. They also use the internet far more than other internet users. Each month, more than 50% of all Facebookers users link to external websites from their Feed. Facebook is used on home computers, and increasingly on mobile devices and tablets. That is a huge range of customers by the ready, waiting to read about your company. Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other websites are all operating under similar principles.

There is a front & center downside to social media as well. There is now a mainstream location for unhappy customers to very publicly vent and bash a company. Ultimately, this can cost a business lost revenue, new business, and even partnership opportunities. While most companies like to think they are never in the wrong, there are times when the vent is justified. At Sinuate Media, we like to use these instances of feedback to look for opportunities to help our clients improve their operational structure and their customer service approach. Other times, the feedback comes from crazies having a bad day. Hey, it’s the internet; it happens. No matter why they customer provided negative feedback online, one comment may lead to a growing posse of bitter customers and former employees frothing at the mouth and attacking businesses via the internet. That’s what needs to be monitored everyday and addressed speedily.

Angry Customer should be dealt with quickly, and with gentle hands. Your response should be quick so that Angry Customer does not become angrier. And with gentle hands because professionalism and personalization can go a long way to mitigating further damage. If this situation is dealt with well, you could not only get that customer back, but engage new ones.

Here are some recommendations for dealing with angry customers online:

  • Do not engage Angry Customer in negative, unprofessional banter—no matter how much you want to
  • Do not show anger in any way. You do not want to stoop to Angry Customer’s level and you want to keep your cool for tall the third parties reading the thread.
  • Be personal. Address Angry Customer by name. Use your real name.
  • Find a resolution. Tell Angry Customer you want to rectify the situation and are willing to do anything in reason to do so.
  • Take the conversation offline if need be. This will help you to hear out Angry Customer’s full feedback and frustrations without doing it on a public forum.
  • Go back and post the resolution online so that followers of the thread know you stood by your product or service.

More often then not, the issue will be resolved and both parties will have come to a reasonable resolution. And who doesn’t like a happy ending. Now get your mind out of the gutter!

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