Social media is an amazing tool that gives any internet user unrestricted access to the world. With great power comes great responsibility – so as a business or consumer, it’s your job to be socially responsible.
Don’t be afraid to set your business up with a social media account. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and the buckets-load of other social media services will help give your business an online identity while gaining a user base you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
Many businesses are scared to set up their social media account because customers are more likely to complain when they are dissatisfied than thank us when they are satisfied. But don’t be scared. Properly handling an angry customer can make you look really good.
When a customer complains about a product or service, the world will then be looking at how you respond. Do you blame the customer when it’s not your fault? Do you ignore the complaint all together?
Think of social media as reactive customer service. Sympathies with the customer, even if it’s not your fault. Tell them that the problem is inexcusable and it will never happen again. Then offer your customer a resolution to the problem by sending them a new product or offering them a special discount. Customer satisfaction should always be guaranteed!
Did you purchase a broken item, or receive an unsatisfactory service? Instead of calling customer relations – or the Better Business Bureau – use Social Media! Find the social media network belonging to the business and spill your heart out. You are publicly putting the company on the line while telling the world your story. Be respectful and honest so you have an authoritative complaint.
But please remember, if you complain when something bad happens, please praise a company when something good happens! It’s important to treat your vendors respectfully – that’s your social responsibility.
My Real World Examples
After doing a load of laundry, I realized I left my beloved Sennheiser headphones in my jean pocket. After a cycle in the washing machine and dryer, my headphones still miraculously worked! I sent Sennheiser a public thank-you on Facebook for building such a quality device. The next week, Canada Post delivered waterproof headphones to my door, compliments of Sennheiser.
My father waited in the United Airlines line to pick up his tickets. After waiting an hour, United Airlines told him that he would have to use the kiosk machine as that is now the only way to select your seats.
A computer is a foreign object for my father, but he couldn’t miss his flight. He once again waited almost an hour for an available kiosk. Once he finally got to the machine, it wasn’t working! My father not only missed his flight, but had to purchase a new ticket for the next day.
United Airlines responded within the hour after we posted my dad’s experience on their Facebook page. They sincerely apologized and even refunded him for his second ticket. My dad was happy, and United Airlines walked away looking really good!
We are a reluctant user of Quickbooks Online. We signed up for this invoicing/accounting software because Quickbooks is the biggest name in the industry – but we’ve only had problems with them since day one.
The online software is a new addition to the Quickbooks collection so they are still fixing the bugs. We’ve been unable to perform day-to-day tasks like view invoices or issue invoices in another currency. Quickbooks offered us a 50% discount as compensation for the problems, but even after months passed we were still paying full price.
I contacted Quickbooks on Twitter and they replied back with an apology saying their system isn’t set up to provide promotions to existing accounts. They instead provided me with a full refund of every month we had problems with Quickbooks Online.
That is customer service!