In 2012, 70% of people said they trusted online reviews and are influenced by online reviews and ratings. Today, the percentage skyrocketed. As a manager for a small business, a customer’s feedback or inquiry about your products & services can be instantly received through Facebook or Twitter.
These social media platforms are public so the way you respond is very highly regarded by the customers. Anyone can see the interaction and their opinion of your brand can also be altered. Every word you post is hanging by a thread literally, and they are also a form of digital marketing for your business.
If a terrible review of a local restaurant comes up on my Facebook newsfeed and no one has addressed the issue the customer had, or just brushed it aside, or worst of all delete it, I will definitely be much less willing to dine at that place.
A positive feedback is much easier for a business to handle, by simply acknowledging the praise and thanking the customer. A negative feedback on the other hand, must be handled delicately as the whole world is watching. Customers know that giving feedback on a social media platform is public and a timely response is expected.
Nothing really needs to be done with this type of feedback other than acknowledgement through a “like” or ”favorite” of the post and maybe a short and sweet response. If its a loyal customer, perhaps offer them a perk the next time they come use your service or purchase your product. Letting your customers know that you’re listening to them is very important and recognizing their praise helps everyone, including the person who may have stumbled upon your interaction and now has a more positive view of your brand.
There are two types of negative posters out there. There are those who are complaining because they want a solution and hopefully you can fix their problem; and those who are complaining just to complain or to make your brand look bad online.
In both of these situations, it’s vital to respond politely and professionally. Acknowledge the customer’s concern and make sure they know you are working to fix it right away whenever possible. Regardless of how absurd a complaint might be, a timely and appropriate response is still very crucial. People will define your company’s reputation by these little online gestures.
Exercising social media correctly and addressing concerns in a timely manner is a simple yet very effective way to positively impact your small business, especially if you’re trying to establish your new brand or uphold a positive reputation. If you can’t afford a full time PR or marketing person (which is true for small startups), Facebook is an easy, measurable way to interact with customers and become more visible when you keep to these common courtesies.
What are some ways that you’ve dealt with positive or negative customer feedback on a social marketing basis? Have you been a bad or good customer yourself? Please share below!