I think we have all, at one time or another, purchased goods or services that were not up to our standards. Today, it is easier than ever to voice our opinions and look for a resolution on social media. More and more businesses now allow us to comment on various social media platforms on their product or service. Gone are the days of waiting in line at the customer service desk or sitting on hold in a phone queue.
Providing the opportunity for customers to comment is helpful but actually taking those comments and resolving them is necessary. I’m sure at some point most of us have had a less than ideal experience when reaching out to a business through social media to deal with a product or service issue. Our main goal is to have the vendor right a wrong.
How should businesses respond to negative customer comments?
In my experience, businesses can improve on how they respond to their customers. In order to effectively solve a customer issue, I believe businesses should take into consideration the following three important suggestions when responding.
Provide a Timely Response
As mentioned in an article from Baylor Cherry (2018), http://bit.ly/2Vcqm4f “The last thing someone wants when they are upset or angry is to be ignored. They posted something because they want to be heard and they want a reaction” (“Respond Timely,” para. 1). This is very true and extremely important for businesses to remember. However big or small your business is, don’t ignore your customers’ concerns.
Personalize the Response
For global businesses it is important that they take the time to ensure clear language translation. The meaning of the response needs to be understood by the customer to whom they are dealing with. This article from Nate Vickery, (2018) http://bit.ly/2Oe6e02 provides some great ways to overcome the obstacles of global social media.
Businesses need to gear their responses to each individual. How many times have you received this response? “We are sorry you have an issue with our product, please contact our customer service department”. I know I have received this one before and then read others’ comments with the exact same response from the business.
In her article Baylor Cherry, (2018) http://bit.ly/2Vcqm4f also states, “Your responses to negative comments should never be cut and paste. Once people start noticing that unhappy comments receive the same message in reply, it will only make your company seem insincere and inauthentic” (“Generic Response,” para. 1).
Ensure There is a Final Resolution
How many of you have commented on a business’s social media platform to voice your opinion or complain about a product or service, only to get a single response and then silence? This can be extremely frustrating.
I ran into this issue last year when I ordered a product online and it didn’t arrive by the promised delivery date. I contacted the company only to receive the response “Please be patient, your order is on the way.” That was it, no follow up to see if my issue was resolved. The order actually took another four weeks to arrive and needless to say, I never ordered from this company again.
More than ever, businesses need to pay attention to their customers’ needs or they risk the possibility of losing their market share. The average consumer demands and expects good customer service or they will take their business elsewhere!
Image from Creative Commons
I’m sure many of you have had experiences other than those mentioned above. I would love to hear your feedback.
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