Social Media Examiner just released an article about the 10 ways to deal with upset customers. We especially liked 8 of their 10 suggestions and wanted to share them with our readers in case you missed it.
The original/full article can be read here:
#1 You Can’t Respond to Conversations You Don’t See
- Great response starts with great listening. Monitor where your brand is being talked about, whether that is your Facebook page, your reviews on Yelp or blogs. Creating a daily Google Alert is a free and fast way to automate some of the monitoring process.
Takeaway: Catch negative buzz and spot issues before they build momentum
#2 Determine if it’s Worth a Response
- Not all negative comments are worth a response, and not all critics are worth trying to win over. Focus on the wrongs you can right.
Takeaway: As my Grandpa always told me, “Don’t get in a pissing match with a skunk.”
#3 Act Quickly
Time is not on your side. The longer you wait to respond, the angrier the customer will get. Even if you don’t know what to say, at the very least, say something like this:
“Hi, my name is ____ and I hear you. We’re looking into it now, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you have any questions, contact me directly at _____.”
Takeaway: Come off as a real person. We don’t all have the answers right away, but letting someone know right away that you’ll find the answer is priceless.
#4 Speak Like A Human
Do not even attempt to respond with a canned corporate response. Make each response unique and tailoredto the initial concern/situation
Takeaway: Show empathy, communicate in a friendly tone and use your real name.
#5 Offer a Real Apology or Don’t Apologize
There’s a different between “We’re sorry you feel that way” and “Absolutely, positively unacceptable” – which was the headline to FedEx’s blog post after a delivery driver was caught throwing a fragile package over a customer’s fence.
Takeaway: A strong, direct apology will always earn more respect than a flimsy one.
#6 Offer to Make it Right
Apologizing is the first step, but to actually fix a problem is how you really win over critics.
Takeaway: Fix it, or watch the negative word-of-mouth multiply.
#7 Never Get into a Fight
Explain your side of the story and start a conversation. The critic is actually doing you a favor. They’re helping you learn to be a better company.
Takeaway: For every person who actually speaks up, many more walk away quietly and never return.
#8 Keep the Discussion in the Open
When a negative issue comes up, a common gut reaction is to ask to move the conversation offline. But when you do this, the world can’t see all the effort you put into fixing the problem.
Nobody sees the private email where you give that sincere apology. We can’t search for that phone conversation where you politely explain why the situation happened in the first place.
Takeaway: When you do it online, in public, you earn word of mouth.