I’ve said many times that social media allows you to connect more intimately to your customers. It allows you to show them what your personality is and why they should buy what you’re selling. It also allows your customers to speak to you directly – now make sure you’re listening to what they are saying…
In case you haven’t already figured it out, everything you do online is public the second it gets posted. Even if you delete it afterwards, there is still a very good chance that a copy of it exists somewhere in cyberspace. The same is true for what your customers say about you online. In the best case scenario, your customers will have nothing but glowing, positive comments and feedback about you and your company. However, there will likely come a time when a customer is dissatisfied or downright angry with your company. Whatever the case, positive or negative, you must always acknowledge your customers. Failing to do so can cause irreparable harm to your brand and negate the fundamental reason for social media marketing – engaging your audience.
Think of it this way. If a customer walked into your office or shop and started speaking to you, what would you do? You’d speak back, right? If what they were saying was positive, you’d probably be happy and have a great conversation that would hopefully encourage your customer to deal with you again in the future. If what they were saying was negative, you would do everything in your power to understand their issue and address their concerns.
The same is true for social media. It’s critical to respond to your customers as soon as possible. When they have something positive to say, take the time to acknowledge them and thank them. After all, they took the time to share their feedback with you. If they have something negative to say, acknowledge them immediately and ask to take the conversation offline so that you can better understand their concerns. This can easily be done by offering a phone number or email address where they can reach you directly. In doing so, you have let your customer know that they are important to you and you want to help correct whatever went wrong. You are also sending a very strong message to all your other customers that lets them know how important good customer service is to you.
In any case, be sure to remember that your customer’s time is highly valuable and you want to make sure they know you respect it and appreciate it. Practice good manners online and it will help you garner customer happiness, feedback and loyalty.