“The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife.”
These wise words about advertising by David Ogilvy ring true in social media as well. They remind us to be human, not only in creating the content we push out, but even when reacting and responding to customer feedback online. With billions of people interacting on social media today, it’s our jobs as PR and marketing professionals to understand how they think and feel in order to connect with them on a personal level that will gain their confidence and trust. So what are the best practices when it comes to fielding customer feedback online? Here are four quick tips to keep in mind:
1. Monitor for brand mentions. You can’t know what people are saying unless you actively look. Tools like HootSuite monitor campaigns across numerous social media platforms and will become your new best friend.
2. Time is critical. It’s not only how you respond, but also when you respond. In fact, according to new research put out by Lithium Technologies, 72 percent of Twitter users expect a response to a complaint within an hour. By not reacting quickly, especially when it’s a complaint, it could add even more fuel to the fire.
3. Address the issue head-on. If a customer is having a problem with your product or service, never stay silent. Instead, acknowledge the issue at hand and do your best to remedy the situation. If that means pulling in the sales or engineering teams to help make sure your answer is top notch—take that extra step.
4. Have a plan in place. Having a plan in place and anticipating what could happen will only be in your favor. It will allow you to be more strategic and speed up your response time.
Sometimes you have to go beyond selling and provide your audience with what they want-valuable information and an open ear. When it comes to online complaints, listening to customers’ frustrations and having them be heard can be a big step toward resolutions.