This post was first published in January 2019, but the information may be useful to businesses affected by COVID-19. Please note that some information may not be up-to-date – you can find our latest COVID-19 guides here.
Please click here for Welsh Government’s latest COVID-19 advice for employers.
Just as people turn to social media to share their thoughts, it’s become equally easy to use these platforms to voice opinions on brands. Whether that’s feedback about a great service or a complaint about a faulty product, social media offers a prime opportunity for people to share what they think about your brand with an audience.
It’s crucial, therefore, that you recognise your social media platforms as a part of delivering excellent customer service. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re exempt from this if you don’t have, or infrequently use social media.
If any of your customers are online, they could be talking about you.
Here are a few tips to make sure you effectively use your social media platforms to build on your customer service and handle comments.
Put a policy in place
It’s a good idea to make sure everyone who has access to your brand’s social media is on the same page about how you plan to respond to positive and negative comments online.
Don’t develop a standard response as this can cause further problems by appearing disingenuous or uncaring. However, you should have a clear brand ‘voice’ with which you talk to these customers and standard practices, such as asking a customer with a complaint to email, rather than discuss it in an open forum.
By having a policy in place, you will be prepared to handle any messages that come your way!
Be personal but professional
Key to handling any online comment is the tone you use. Avoid formulaic responses as people want to feel that they are being listened to and understood.
Be personal and caring, but always maintain a professional approach. Don’t get drawn into online arguments as this could have a wider, lasting impact on your brand.
Don’t hang about when it comes to responding to a customer online. This is particularly important when it comes to negative messages. If you leave days between a complaint and your response, you may find that you lose any chance to repair that customer relationship. You may even find that it grows out of control with numerous users getting involved and causing irreparable damage to your business’ name.
Try to manage all comments on a daily basis to ensure potential issues are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.
Take the opportunity to improve
This is not only a chance to manage negative opinions but also a great opportunity to engage with dedicated customers. Help these people to feel appreciated and engage them in conversation and you can foster a long-lasting relationship, as well as demonstrating to potential customers how you value your audience.
Even when it comes to negative comments, if you approach in a considerate way then you could boost their opinion of the brand by showing you understand the situation, value their opinion and will seek to make reparations.
If you do receive negative feedback, is there anything you could learn from it? Don’t take everything to heart, but you may find that there is some constructive criticism that could help to improve your business in the future. Do you want to learn how to make the most of social media?
Register for a free #Superfastbiz Social Media workshop to learn more practical tips and advice. Book now!