Handling client feedback via social media
1bn people are users of social networks
65% of people believe it’s a better way to communicate with companies than call centres.
¼ of people engaging with companies via social media are aged over 55
Whichever side of the fence you’re on, it’s becoming clear that social media is quickly changing what’s expected in today’s customer service world. One thing you’ll hear commentators say again and again is that social media shouldn’t be thought of purely as a marketing function; by definition, it’s a two-way communication tool and businesses need to be prepared for incoming traffic: positive or negative. Here are our 5 top tips for sound social media communication:
Just as customers have learned quickly that the power of complaints are best placed on social media platforms, companies must also realise the importance of responding quickly to any negative feedback. Remember, no business is perfect. Demonstrating that you’ve quickly taken control and offered solutions will not only stem any potential tide of negativity, but also demonstrate positive customer service to all other followers and in many cases, improve your reputation.
Make it personal
As Moneypenny co-founder Rachel Clacher commented in her article: Alton Towers is facing a fightback, nothing gives you a more warm and cuddly feeling than being referred to as a number. Social media gives businesses the opportunity to make it personal. By doing so you can repair a damaged reputation and develop trust in your brand; it demonstrates that you’re prepared to go the extra mile for an individual, rather than half-heartedly fending off a majority.
As explained above, don’t treat social media purely as a marketing responsibility. Typically, marketers will concentrate on using social media to push out information; it’s vital that you allocate resource to people who are dedicated to listening and responding to what customers have to say. This will ensure that any queries, complaints or feedback are addressed in full, rather than breaking down once they fall outside of one department’s remit.
No one likes dealing with negative feedback. However, it’s well worth understanding how you can turn frustrations into a positive; research conducted by Bain and Company suggests that customers who are more engaged with a company’s social media channels spend up to 40% more than other customers. Addressing concerns and meeting customer expectations can also turn critics into strong social advocates for your brand.
If you’ve become aware of a service or product issue, don’t bury your head in the sand and hope feedback will be minimal. Set up a protocol for communicating with customers, updating them regularly on how it’s being addressed. In such cases social media platforms can save valuable time and resources as opposed to answering individual questions via email. In most cases, keeping people informed is the best way of keeping complaints down and any negative impression of your brand to a minimum.