Having a social presence is a wonderful thing! You get to interact with your clients instantly, recognize and thank them in a very public way, get your business out there by being tagged in statuses, photos, and check-ins, and you get to increase your likeability and personalize you and your company. But as with most roads, having a social presence means you are opening up a very public channel for a disgruntled or disappointed client to rant about a recent experience. A negative comment or tweet is not the end of the world! Here are the 5 things you should make sure you’re doing when responding to negative social engagement.
This might seem like an obvious step but a lot of companies might not respond because they don’t know what to say. If you would rather respond privately with a direct message or personal message, then by all means do so! But this is a crucial step.
Your client has made an effort to get your attention, when you respond make sure you are giving the issue the time it deserves. Make them feel heard and really listen to their story. Don’t assume this version is 100% accurate but be genuine with your concern.
When handling negative engagement on social media you have to be a little flexible with some policies. Don’t announce what you did for a client lest you set a standard and everyone starts taking to Twitter for unreasonable requests but after you listen, consider. Is this a situation you can and should bend a rule? Will keeping this client lead to more business? A stronger relationship? A more loyal customer?
4. Know when to walk.
If your client is unreasonable, asking for the moon and it just cannot be helped do not continue the conversation in a public forum. If they are angry and spouting off your other clients will see that. End the conversation with an apology and a thank you but don’t continue to engage.
5. Check back.
If a solution is reached while you are working together, follow up in a few days to make sure the client received everything they were supposed to. A likely story is that they feel better, are happy with the result, and will take to social media again to tell their happy story.
It’s true that people are more likely to tell their networks about bad experiences before good ones, but if you can spin a negative into a positive do it! Social media has taken word of mouth to an entirely different level and that’s the level you have to operate on.
How have you dealt with negative engagement in the past?
Have you ever had a negative interaction become a positive one?
Let us know in the comments!
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The ANROMA Group – SocializeLA.com Team!
Member of NAWBO, Marketing Chair for NAWBO Inland Empire & Ambassador of Pasadena for NAWBO Los Angeles