Interaction 1: A Customer Posts a Bad Review of Your Business
Seeing negative comments about your business on a public review site like Yelp or TripAdvisor hurts. But how you respond can hurt your bottom line much more than an angry or dissatisfied customer. As tempting as it would be to ignore or delete the complaint, studies indicate that doing so can be a big turn-off to other customers. It’s important to respond positively, professionally, and politely. Explaining the steps you’re taking to rectify the situation can go a long way in customer relations. Finally, while a negative review can provide insight on how to optimize your business, it’s crucial that you don’t spend too much time dwelling on what was said after the fact.
Interaction 2: A Customer Complains About Your Product or Service
People have grown more accustomed to using social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to publically voice displeasure. Despite this, some businesses don’t respond to social media complaints, despite the fact that ignoring complaints can be damaging. If a customer leaves a detailed negative experience on your business’s page, not only should you not ignore it, you should also address it in a professional manner. Additionally, your message should be personal, as your customer base is smart enough to pick up on a static, cut-and-paste response. Because social media is a public forum, it’s crucial that whatever your resolution is, it remains consistent compared to previous resolutions. Failure to do so will raise flags from those concerned about being treated differently.
Interaction 3: A Customer Praises Your Business
Receiving a positive review will undoubtedly make you feel good. Studies also indicate that positive reviews have a tendency to drive customers to your business. But you shouldn’t just bask in the glory of a satisfied customer. Responding to a positive review can help build up solid customer relationships. However, this only works if you respond in a certain way. It’s vital to make your response human and humble. Writing a form response or coming across as arrogant leaves a bad taste in customers’ mouths, even if there are scores of positive reviews on your public review feed. Don’t prioritize responding to praise, either – always respond to the negative reviews first.
Interaction 4: A Customer Has a Question for Your Company
Even if you have a deep, thorough FAQ page on your business website, you’re still going to get questions from customers. Obviously, you’ll want to answer their query, as ignoring them may cost you a future customer. But you’ll also want to respond to them as quickly as you can, especially if the question comes from social media. When you do, you’ll want to provide a thorough answer to their inquiry, as providing them with a link to where the answer can be found will come across as unhelpful. It’s also important to provide an answer in terms that the customer can understand – providing a response with business jargon may be indecipherable to the customer, which could further fuel a feeling of frustration.
View the infographic below, created by Ohio University’s Online Master Business Administration program, to get a better understanding of the types of social interactions a business might encounter.