Following my previous post, I’m going to continue talking about how a business should interact with their consumers through social media.
However, through Social Media, this has its problems. I’m not entirely sure if it has its own term or not, so for the sake of the blog I’m going to call it the “bite-back”. This is where the customer develops a negative voice or opinion about your business and will happily tell you about it on Facebook or Twitter. This can go one of two ways for your business.. Good or bad. Most of the time you will find the opinions are of customers who genuinely feel hurt or disappointed in the business, and its up to you to solve their problems. There are quite a few ways to react to this.
Your reply will be what makes the consumer or customer happy at the end of this. Most of the time they want to know that they have been heard and that there issue has been solved, other times you won’t be able to do anything or what they are complaining about is absolutely ridiculous, but there are also ways to tackle these!
The Joke is a perfect reply for a light hearted situation where the problem is entirely out of your hands like the weather being awful. Be careful not to lose the personality of your brand though. Some jokes aren’t funny for others!
In my previous blog post, the pretend business that we were assigned too was the Cornwall holiday cottages. Here is a situation where a customer tweets us about the weather, and here is our reply with other actions taken if necessary.
Tweet: “Can’t believe this week in Cornwall has rained, rained, rained. Can’t wait to go home. Decent cinemas in Surrey.
Reply: This should be useful for next time… http://www.thecornishstore.com/shopp736090823
If you haven’t clicked the link, it would have redirected you to an Umbrella store in Cornwall, because obviously, we cannot control the weather so we decided the best approach was to make a joke out of the light hearted situation!
Someone, at some point will be unhappy with your service. How you react on twitter to them depends on whether they will decide to continue using you in the future, so its best to approach this carefully and make sure you take all appropriate actions afterwards.
Here is the complaint, the reply and then the action we would have taken if our business was real.
Tweet: “Arrived for well-deserved week away. Found dirty sheets (pic of dirty sheets with stain)”
Reply: We’re so sorry; we hope the rest of your holiday has been a success! We have sent you clean sheets and cancelled your cleaning bill.
Our actions: Change the linen company.
This should, in theory make the customer happier with you than they were before, you are providing them with help, and describing what actions you are taking to improve on this whilst also being apologetic.
Sometimes a complaint could be made, but it may not be your fault, e.g. lack of parking spaces in the area. The best way to approach this is to provide alternative methods of transport.
Here was the complaint that we were faced with, along with the reply we gave them and also the course of action that we used.
Tweet: “Holiday in Flushing? Fine if you don’t have a car. Can’t park anywhere. How else do you get here? This is rubbish!
Reply: You can still have a great holiday by parking in Falmouth, getting a boat taxi or walking to flushing. It’s a bit more effort but it gives you something else to enjoy!
After: Send them links of other transportation and walking routes.
I think its best to take the most appropriate course of action that you think is right, obviously if your business or the company that you are working for has a set of guidelines for how to handle these situations it would be best to follow those, because they know what personality there business should have on these social media sites!