Tag Archives: Reputation

Customer Complaints: Your Chance to Shine

21 Feb

Fact #1: you can’t please everyone.

Fact #2: people have big mouths.

What happens when you mix the above facts with social media? You get your chance as a business owner to shine. Here are 3 reasons why social media is a better way to interact with unhappy customers than any other method, including face-to-face!

1. You get alerted to the complaint immediately.

If a customer has an issue with your business and mentions it to friends in person or on the phone there is no way for you to know that they did that. Even if they’re forward enough to tell you their complaint there’s no way for you to track down all those people they might have talked to. Not so on the interwebs! First, if you have some kind of social media platform you are inviting people to communicate with you there. When they do, you’re notified, have a way to contact them back, on top of being handed a great deal of their contact information.

Bonus: what if they don’t contact you directly on social media, instead using their own status or posting a review? Between alert services such as Google Alerts and Social Mentions and the built-in search features on Twitter & Google+ you can still find out quickly!

2. You get to be on stage.

When a person complains to me offline about a company I only get to hear their side of the story. I don’t get to find out if the company ever made it right to that customer. If that exchange takes place online the company has the opportunity to change it from a complaint to a conversation. They get to  publicly make it right. As you resolve their concerns and win back their business, all of your network and all of their network get to watch you value your customers through action, watch you be attentive, courteous, and professional. Instead of this being a negative mark for you, it grows your positive brand image.

3. You get to pleasantly surprise people.

Most businesses do not respond to negative customer feedback online. Why this is, I have no idea. Business owners aren’t completely rational beings, I guess. 😉 So, when you do respond you immediately get on everybody’s good side. Take every chance to stand out against the rest of your competitors!

Word of warning here: if you try to censor any complaints or negative feedback online you just end up multiplying it. Censoring is a extreme move that only accelerates the aggression. Don’t hide your head in the sand by hitting that delete button! Deal with the problem!

Your business’ approach to customer service is a big part of Magic Bottle Marketing’s intake process. This is not something either of us wants to have to plan on the fly. I will work with you to have a strategy in place so that when someone does complain, you’ll get to shine!

Do You Have A Comment, Sir?!

21 Dec

I’ve been posting a lot about social media from a business standpoint lately. Let’s shake it up slightly by talking about a way to build your personal professional reputation online. Don’t worry–this is not another how-to plug for LinkedIn. I’m thinking of comments.

You can do a great deal of engaging without having your own blog or Facebook page by posting insightful comments. I have found this to be the best way to engage other experts and professionals in a field. Think about it. You have to know a lot about something to actually write something interesting about it. An ignorant person or a bad writer can make fireworks boring on paper. If  you find an informative, entertaining blog in a subject your profession touches on, you have probably found an influencer. Second, it’s almost as good as brownies when it comes to worming your way into someone’s heart. Anyone who creates reacts like a puppy to beef jerky when it comes to comments. Third, it develops a relationship and keeps your name in front of people–and in a format that has a link to your business too!

What should you comment on? Depends on what part of your online reputation you’re trying to build. Are you trying to connect with former or potential customers or with other professionals in your field? If you have the time I would recommend both. For example, my blog and social media consumption has two main categories: local and marketing.

I’ve talked about the local scene some before. It is very important that I be up on the local scene. It’s my customers’ customers! What are they talking about? What are they doing? What do they like and dislike? Bloggers aren’t average usually, but they’re quite often trend setters. In social media there is a lot crossover between staying up on the local scene and building relationships with potential customers.

Marketing blogs are just for my own education. I want my skills to stay sharp and up-to-date. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m just following social media blogs. I follow Julie Walraven even though Magic Bottle Marketing does nothing with employment services because Julie uses social media masterfully. And she’s a wonderful person. I follow Jessica Miller-Merrill and Rayanne Thorn because Xceptional HR is a leader in its field (HR) for social media. And because Jessica’s an Okie.

What should you say? I am assuming you are all kind, decent human beings who would never post a spammy comment asking someone to click on anything. You should…

  • Comment more than one sentence. ‘Sweet’ and ‘Cool’ are not real engagement.
  • Ask for clarification or application. Better yet, provide an application or example yourself!
  • Say what you liked about the post.
  • Ask a further question.
  • Relate an experience that confirms or contradicts the article in a succinct manner—they only care how your cat relates to the post, not actually about your cat.

Guy Kawasaki wrote a post specifically about comments on Google+, but I think a lot of it can be applied to any platform.

If you have personal interests that don’t match your business consider using two accounts for comments. I use my personal accounts to comment on friends’  stuff and political blogs. I’m not doing anything I’m ashamed of–it’s just a matter of brand building. I have a personal brand in politics and I don’t want to dilute it or Magic Bottle Marketing’s brand by blending them.

Now, a confession.  I have not fully applied all of this post to myself. You can all hold me accountable now!