In the world of social media, everyone has a soap box to stand on –
and let’s face it; sometimes that can be pretty scary.
Just as Facebook has given marketers the ability to uniquely showcase their brand, it’s also created an opportunity for businesses to quickly and effectively respond to customers’ needs. So to help you avoid the potential pitfalls of real-time customer communications, check out these four tips to help avoid a Facebook disaster.
Identify the problem. Determine if the complaint is from a disgruntled customer blowing off steam or if it stems from a larger issue. Although each customer complaint is important, you must first identify the source of the problem to determine an appropriate response. If the complaint is due to something that is truly your fault, the best course of action is to keep customers updated as you work to resolve. On the other hand, if it’s an independent issue, you can begin a dialogue with the customer to find a solution or appropriate explanation. As a bonus tip, always remember to be courteous and thank your Facebook subscribers for their time and patience.
Respond quickly. From a customer perspective, social media is the fastest way to make contact with a brand. Every action your customer takes happens in real-time, and in return, they expect a speedy response. Make sure that you’re utilizing tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck for your Facebook page to help manage notifications. According to the 2011 Retail Consumer Report (RCR), 34% of Facebook fans deleted their original negative review after receiving a response from a brand regarding an issue, so it’s important to show customers that you’re willing to address their needs.
Share carefully. Do you want to allow your fans to write anything they want on your Facebook wall? After all, being able to share thoughts about a particular brand or person is really what Facebook is all about; but the amount of freedom you give customers depends on your trade. To get started, create a standard set of rules for how Facebook users are expected to treat each other and enforce those rules judiciously. Also encourage feedback from subscribers – by empowering customers to interact with your page, they’ll often be the first to defend you if you’re under attack from an angry facebooker.
Move the conversation. Don’t engage in a full blown debate on your Facebook page. If a customer repeatedly addresses a problem via Facebook comments, you should move the conversation elsewhere. Direct them to the appropriate party or email address where you can discuss the matter privately and in more detail. Continuing the dialogue outside of your social space will make it easier for you and your customer to address the concern and move on. Plus, providing someone with a positive customer service experience can often gain you a new fan that positively talks you up on Facebook. As the RCR suggests, 85% of consumers have stated that they’d be willing to pay more to ensure a better customer service experience, so be sure to give the people what they want!
There you have it!
By following these guidelines, you can easily turn angry customers into happy ones and proactively avoid a Facebook disaster.
Lauren Hill, Social Media Associate, Volusion