The vast majority of the people who follow this blog are business owners (usually SMEs), and as such I imagine this post will resonate somewhat.
This week I had a meeting with a potential client who wanted to find out more about the services I offered. Initially they were interested in content for their website, but conversation drifted to social media. They immediately admitted they could see the upside, but the thing that worried them the most was this – what if they (i.e. their customers) took to social media to complain?
It’s entirely plausible that I’ve been doing this for too long because honestly it took me a while to understand what their problem was.
We all know that customers sometimes complain. Occasionally they complain for apparently no reason – some people just can’t be helped. No, it’s never nice to be complained about, so I get that; however, every complaint is an opportunity to wow.
Ah, but a complaint on social media could go viral they tell me.
Yes, I acknowledge, it could. However, you have 15 followers and sell a niche product, the chance is slim. And if it happened, your business would probably benefit from the publicity.
It’s not really worth the risk though, they argue.
Let’s cut to the chase here. Your customers will not complain because you are on social media. If they feel strongly enough to complain, they will find a way to do so. This obsession that somehow a complaint on a Facebook page is going to destroy your business is simply ridiculous.
How did customers used to complain? In person. The law of Sod would also dictate they’d wait until your store was at its busiest before they did so. The result? Other people would hear.
You know what impact those complaints have on your target audience? Nothing – provided of course you handle it correctly.
Online complaints are no different.
If someone complains on social media, and you address it courteously and in a timely manner, you will always come away looking better. As a result, social media is not a thing to be feared. It is an opportunity to be embraced and one we really don’t think you should miss.
If you are concerned about how to keep on top of your interactions we offer a management service to take the hassle from you. Alternatively, we are always happy to provide advice if you have a specific concern when it comes to customer service.