I was speaking on a panel of what they were calling experts not long ago. I was divulging why social media is important as a tool for business owners. As I was sharing my nuggets of knowledge. Midway through my presentation I was asked a question by someone who wanted to know if it was bad when someone shares negative feedback on your social sites for everyone to see. My answer was most definitely not what he expected. I told him “No”.
Why would I say that? It seems crazy to think that I would welcome complaints Right? Wrong! My answer is simple. In the world of social media, complaints can be a very good thing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like to hear nor do I like to do much complaining because I think with very few exceptions, it is a waste of time. I also don’t like to hear complaints about the services my company offers because if they are valid, it means we aren’t doing our job in keeping our customers happy. That being said, I feel that complaints that customers post on social media pages should be welcomed. First, when a customer takes the time to complain they are giving you one last opportunity to make it right. Chances are that they won’t just hop on Facebook after one negative experience although it is possible. Regardless of this fact, if they take the time to post something negative you should most assuredly take the time to respond right away.
Complaints when they are handled immediately, directly and with a resolution do some really great things for your reputation. When you respond to complaints immediately, people see that you are responsive. It gives them a good feeling to know that when there are issues you don’t hide from them. Non-verbally it tells them that you are interested in correcting mistakes when they happen to ensure good service and that you aren’t in business just to make a buck.
Responding directly to complaints tells the customers that you aren’t going to give them the run-around with 10 different people with 10 different answers. It also reassures them that you most likely aren’t going to force them, through lack of response, to call an 800 number to either be transferred to some far away place where they don’t speak your language (literally and figuratively), spend an eternity on hold or press numbers until your fingers bleed.
Lastly, when you respond to complaints with a resolution, people see that you care to make things right to the best of your ability. Everyone knows that you can please all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you’ll never please all of the people all of the time. There will always be those few people who will complain no matter how much you give them but that’s a statistic that you have to deal with like shrinkage.
My thought on people that complain on your Facebook pages or respond to Tweets with a barrage of negative comments…BRING IT ON! As long as you address them immediately, directly and with a resolution it will impress upon the masses that you are a person with whom they will enjoy doing business because you care about your customers.