The explosive nature of social media makes it a delicate area for independent businesses – but that latent energy can be usefully transformed into your next success story. Your social media presence is a key outward manifestation of your core business strength, in so far as social media – like business – is about relationships. When a customer comes to you with a complaint via social media, ask yourself first and foremost why they’ve chosen this channel to connect with you.
Likely there is an element of ‘letting off steam’ – the soft revenge of revealing a business’s (alleged) error in public. This can seem like a nuisance, but if you keep a cool head and are able to deal with the situation in a manner that is satisfying to the complainant, you’ve actually spun it into free publicity. Without asking for a public conversation, you can publically illustrate the human face behind your business, your capability, and your fine level of customer care.
Customers may contact you online because they can’t find or get through to you on your old-school phone number. In this case, it should be easier to move the conversation to the private realm as soon as possible – but try to share the successful outcome publically if possible, to clean up that initial dark mark on your reputation.
Of course, it is not a strategy without nuance. Trust your ‘IRL’ judgment alone, and you can still end up causing offense online. Remember, there’s every chance that the person making the complaint is less that au fait with the etiquette and conventions of online communication. For these reasons, it’s important to research and maintain an online customer care protocol, with which you should train any of your staff who share the responsibility of dealing with your social media presence.
A new infographic from Headway Capital provides some seriously good ideas for when you’re drawing up this social media customer care code of conduct. Take a look, share it with your team, and ensure that your social media presence only runs on good energy.
10 Step Guide to Giving Outstanding Social Media Customer Care