Build Your Brand’s Reputation by Responding Well to Criticism
Opening up your company’s social media profile to find a scathing post about your service or product might send your heart racing, but with the right plan in place, your social media strategy won’t miss a beat. Here are some suggestions for keeping cool in a heated social media exchange:
Respond quickly. Your social media strategy needs parameters for responding to posts, including a timeframe for responding specifically to complaints. This doesn’t mean that you need to be able to solve the problem for your customer immediately, but you need to communicate that you’ve received the complaint and that you’re working on addressing it. It’s always good to thank your customer for their feedback, too, because they’re giving you a chance to remedy the situation.
Name it and claim it. One of the worst ways to respond to a complaint on social media and end up damaging the reputation of your brand is to be unwilling to take responsibility for a problem. This is old-fashioned, basic customer service: the customer is always right! Don’t get into a semantics war or any other kind of argument with your customer. Instead, acknowledge the problem and take responsibility.
Act like one human being talking to another. Don’t post a copy-and-paste response or use corporate euphemisms to describe the situation. Remember that you’re just two people, trying to come to an agreement about a situation. If you post an apology on a social media site, make sure it’s genuine.
On the other hand, don’t take it personally. It may be easy for your customer to get upset and express themselves passionately on Facebook or LinkedIn. Even if it feels like they’re attacking you, keep in mind that their problem is with the brand or the company, not with you personally.
Continue the conversation offline. Too often, spectators in a social media conversation can jump on a bandwagon and complicate the situation. Your social media strategy should include provisions for suggesting that a conversation continue out of the spotlight of social media.
Have an escalation plan ready. If a conversation on social media gets out of hand, do you know who will ultimately handle the problem? Your social media team will likely be able to handle most complaints, but you’ll want to know who is going to be your point person if the conversation turns ugly.
Call in the professionals. If you’re a little intimidated about the prospect of handling complaints on social media, you’re not alone. Our team at SJC Marketing oversees the social media strategy for companies like yours, making sure that every conversation is handled in a consistent brand voice and that complaints are addressed immediately. Want to talk more? Make an appointment with us today!