Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Problem Resolution On Social Media - Part 2

In part one of this series (8/14/12) about resolving problems and complaints on social media, we looked at how to find and analyze negative comments to determine if they require you to respond. Here in part 2, we will begin the process of successfully turning a negative comment or complaint into a positive for your company.

1.  Respond to the Problem
If you have already determined that the customer's complaint is legitimate and they are not just trying to bait you into a conflict, you need to respond quickly. Turning around at this point and ignoring the situation, and just hoping it will go away, could be disastrous. The negative comment could rapidly spiral out of control due to the nature of social media. In the past, businesses could sometimes get away with turning a blind eye to customer complaints. Those days are over today social media is empowering consumers as never before. One individual can literally have their message heard by thousands, or millions if the negative comment goes viral.

2.  Own the Problem
It is crucial at this point to not take anything said in the comments personally or as an insult. None of your company's comments should be seen as negative towards the complaining poster. If you feel their statements to be untrue or incorrect, simply state your response in a professional manner. If your company is in error, own up to it and admit the mistake very honestly and openly. Clearly point out that steps are being taken to prevent the issue from arising again in the future. Your other fans and followers, and possibly even the complainer, will admire your forthrightness.

3. Take the High Road
You are justifiably proud of your business and what you have accomplished, but don't let your pride get the best of you. Always take the high road in these exchanges regarding negative comments. Let your responses be ruled by your integrity and restraint. Even if the engagement turns personal and ugly, do not sink to their level. Always remember that the rest of your fans are listening in on this interaction as well. Don't ever try to discredit the complainant, either directly or indirectly. Blaming it on the consumer or trying to simply deflect the criticism away will make your company look like an uncaring corporate bully beating up on the little guy.

In the last part of this series we will close the loop and complete the process of turning a negative comment or complaint on social media into a positive for your company.
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