At some point in your professional career, your company, or the company you represent, may have the unfortunate responsibility of managing disgruntled customers. In today’s fast-paced world, we consume media quickly and efficiently, and consumers are just as speedy at turning to social media in search of customer service. Social media provides upset customers a platform to express their disdain for a certain situation. Because of the way we now consume communication – 24/7/365 – that negative news travels fast. As the company at the center of the potential “controversy,” you have the opportunity to utilize your social media presence as a crisis management tool. With social media you can:
Create an Information Hub
During any negative situation, your loyal customers will be looking for information. With a solid social media foundation, you have a platform to provide your followers with the most current and important information. Knowing that you have the audience’s back, even if you have made a mistake, they will appreciate you acknowledging and addressing the situation. If your audience visits your channels for updated information and receives radio silence, they are going to be put off and may likely be less receptive once the situation is resolved. Communication with your audience will help you retain customers, even if they are unhappy with the current situation.
Provide “Real Time” Personal Responses
In any time of crisis, your customers are sure to have questions or complaints. With a social media channel like Twitter, you can contact these customers and answer any questions directly and promptly. In crisis management, it is critical you are alert and in tune with your audience. Your followers are more likely to be understanding and forgiving if you are addressing their concerns with immediacy. You won’t always have the answer your audience is looking for, but acknowledging their concerns and having a platform to apologize can help to calm a situation.
Present an Action Plan for Your Audience
With social media, you have the ability to answer your customer’s question of “what’s next?” Once you’ve created an action plan, share this with your audience. Lay out your next steps of action and what you are going to be doing to resolve the situation. Having the ability to share this information with your audience via social media allows them to feel more comfortable while they wait for a resolution.
In tense situations, many companies panic as they see the complaints flooding their timelines. Don’t be afraid of customer feedback. Having these conversations publicly shows your willingness to solve issues. Silence should never be an option. Own the conversation and get ahead of the problem. Your customers will appreciate your efforts and will be more forgiving in the end. Are you engaging with your audience in the right way? We’ve got the 5 mistakes you might be making here.