I was having a conversation with a business friend of mine who was railing against "these social media sites" that share customer input on their experience. That would include Yelp, TripAdvisor and yes Facebook and Twitter among others. He said, "I don't know why they complain on social media how come they don't say something when they are in the store so we can fix it there?"
He has a point but, welcome to the digital age where anything and everything goes.
I asked him what he does when he gets a social media complaint and he said, "I ignore it. It's just stupid and it will go away."
But, it won't. There is a way to deal with social media complaints that, as you do it, actually boosts your brand. Here are some tips:
- Acknowledge to Goof - If something happened that ticked off a customer don't hide from it. Use it as a way to show your ability to listen to the customer;
- Offer to Make It Right - True, some folks just want to play mean but if the complaint is real find a way to fix it and say so. And, don't be afraid to do it publicly;
- Be Nice - Look, we get it...nothing feels better than to fire off a Tweet or a Facebook Post so you can "get back". That is until somebody out there copies the post, circulates it and then who looks bad? Resist the impulse;
- Use the Moment - While it's true that in the digital age anybody can complain about anything and often stay anonymous. No matter if it's a "troll" or for real. Use the moment to help consumers better understand who and what you are really like.
I really liked this piece from Hootsuite and how they used negative comments to re-build: