There needs to be a new hashtag for the rest of us social media practitioners – #drivesmecrazy. There are many things that drive me crazy. One that’s been in my face lately has been this scenario:
“Social media guru/expert/strategist posts a tweet like ‘Don’t ignore negative posts on your FB wall.’”
Well, no shit, Sherlock.
Anyone who has a business knows that a negative comment can blow up into a long thread of negative comments by the community. It’s the same as if you asked your client “Hey, if a customer came to your store and said I ate a bad sandwich from your store. What are you going to do about it?” Your client tends to address the problem straight-on. Sure, there may be companies who still turn a blind eye. There may be companies that take comments offline. There may be companies who address them WHEN THEY CAN. Not all companies are multi-headed corporations. Some are one-man shops, and if that one-person is doing everything, they will get to the negative tweet/FB post when they can.
There is no backing behind those tweets. I could sell those tweets left and right. I’d rather give you some practical advice from my experience with clients.
So let me take it a step further regarding customer service and social media.
1. You should have a customer service plan in place if you are going to implement a social media program. (Ie. If you’ve got a Facebook page, you had better have some idea on how you’re going to address customers there.) Do you have a brick-and-mortar business? Repurpose your customer service responses and customize them for social.
2. When your customer/fan posts something negative on your wall, you move as fast as you can to address it, especially if it is a legit claim. My suggestion is to publicly address the person and then take it offline if you need to contact that person. (Eg. if it has something to do with the customer’s account.) Here’s the rule that you do need to agree to – that you WILL address all legitimate posts.
Here are a couple responses you can build from or edit:
Hi #customer name/username#, sorry to hear that – can you DM us your contact info so we can research your issue? Thank you!
Hi #customer/username#, please give us a call or DM us so we can figure this out together.
Obviously, there are other general responses you can use and customize to make more specific.
How hard is it for “experts” to throw this out to the Twitterverse? Not that hard. Here you go. It ain’t rocket science. It’s customer service.
Want more examples of good customer service on social media? Here are two.
Southwest Airlines does a pretty good job with customer service on Twitter. I’ve tweeted them before regarding personal flights; I’ve always received a tweets back in @reply and DM format. Granted, they have a TEAM of social media customer service pros answering. This shouldn’t discourage any business from being like Southwest’s CS team. If anything, I think small and large businesses should take a few pointers and examples on how they respond back to customers on social.
Not to be outdone, Jetblue does a good job too with their customer service. Again I’ve had personal experience with their team, and it’s always been pleasant.
What are you waiting for? Get your customer service plan in place for social. Keep a ‘regular’ schedule of checking your usernames and pages for customer service issues/tweets/posts. Respond as soon as you can – publicly and taking it offline when necessary.
As for those ‘strategists,’ well, that’s another ball of wax that drives me crazy. If one has never been on the ‘front lines,’ then I’d question their expertise.