There’s no denying that social media is a welcome addition to the tools and strategies companies use to heighten market engagement and cement their brand among the most trusted names in the industry they belong. It is an innovation that has been shaping customer service outsourcing into providers of omnipresent, ever-accessible points of contact to businesses in need of constant communication with their customers.
But along with the convenience and accessibility offered by social media, it gives a higher risk of getting your company’s name dragged into public controversies. And given the nature of the Internet, defamatory posts could go viral in an instant, subjecting your brand to public scrutiny and judgment. Luckily, this only happens to businesses with poor customer service practices. To save yourself from unnecessary online drama, here’s what you can do:
1. Make excellence your “average” service level
The reason a customer complaint addressed to the online public goes viral is that many people relate to it. You probably won’t share a friend’s Facebook rant about sluggish clerks if you don’t share his sentiments about the hotel he’s talking about, right? But no matter how great you and your customer service representatives are in keeping your customers happy, there will still be an isolated case where an upset customer airs out his problem online.
Again, shared experience is the leg that helps the story make rounds, so if there’s no one else with the same problem as the online complainant, there’s a low chance of the story going places. Be your best in every transaction so that when one inevitable slipup happens, it won’t deter your positive reputation to the rest of the customers with pleasant recollections of doing business with you.
2. Be sure your customers know who to call
There are instances when customers vent out on their social media accounts without the intention of destroying your image but simply because they don’t know where else to take their grievances. Make sure that your contacting channels are well-disseminated. Publish your customer service hotline and social media accounts on your website, product labels, and public listings.
3. Know what time and money means to customers
You probably have your own definition of time and money in your workplace. Your team works according to schedule while following a standard set of procedures when handling customers. Sure, quality service takes time, but do your customers understand this? They have their own matters to attend to that waiting for requests to be processed can mean slow work when in truth, you’re just taking all the steps necessary for the request.
To avoid giving impression that you’re wasting money and time, work according to your customer’s timeframe. Does your market compose mainly of mothers? Then you better have schedules (deliveries, outgoing calls, etc.) that won’t interfere with their daily duties.
4. Be transparent
In relation to the previous point, you have to make your customers understand the reasons and motives behind your actions. Don’t impose a fee increase without an explanation, or else, people will look for answers from other sources while spreading bad testimonials about you. Worse, there will be speculations that will likely hold true to the public. Prevent this from happening by giving notices before implementing a new policy and by explaining why problems occurred. Blast emails if you’re planning to raise prices, pull out product lines, or interrupt connection for maintenance. Any big action requires a reason, so make calls or release a press statement if you must.