Just Who’s Managing Who These Days?
A few years ago, we used to impart our wisdom to clients along these lines: “If someone gives you a bad review online, don’t feel that you need to react immediately – wait for your loyal customers to jump to your defence first, and then approach the complainant and try and resolve any problem.” Having one of your customers defend you is far more powerful than jumping into your own defensive position straight away, and will be perceived much more positively by third parties. And no-one wants to witness a public argument… or at least that’s how it was a few years ago.
While in some situations that advice is still relevant, the power of the public complaint via Facebook or Twitter now requires businesses to proactively monitor what’s going on – and the manner in which any complaint is handled is also very public.
Many large businesses now have adopted a strategy whereby they have a Twitter and Facebook account for the promotional messages and engaging their audience, running in parallel with a “Customer Services” account where grumpy customers can vent their spleen in a very public fashion by Tweeting to them directly, mentioning their business name or Twitter handle in a Tweet, or writing on their Facebook Wall.
This manner of complaining is becoming increasingly popular among frustrated customers, unhappy with the quality of a product or standard of service. We recently watched with unbridled glee as one of our associates decided to use this very forum to tackle a sofa retailer. After 7 months of chasing them by telephone to sort out a problem with the sofa she’d bought, she snapped and wrote a polite but lengthy wall post on their Facebook page, detailing date by date how they had failed her on a number of occasions. Within 15 minutes she had a response, and the same morning a refund was paid by the sofa firm, who will remain nameless.
The moral of this story? Using Social Media as a marketing tool is often a critical part of a business’s marketing plan these days, but it’s not just a case of shouting about how great you are, it’s about making sure that you are responding to your clients and customers, while managing any ‘tricky’ conversations in such a way that you are reinforcing your positive brand image – because otherwise you are having a very public argument indeed.
Need help managing your social media? Want to make sure your presence on Twitter and Facebook does your business justice? We can help – just pick up the phone to Ketchup Marketing and ask for Michelle on 0330 088 9277 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org or @ketchuptweets