It’s impossible for a brand to please everyone all the time. But we live in the time social media where feelings of disappointment can immediately be broadcasted around the world. So what can a brand do? Here are eight ways to deal with disappointed customers before it becomes a full blown crisis.
1 Spot the Problem Fast
In social media, silence equals indifference, and being ignored creates bad blood. In an online poll done by The Social Habit Research, 42 percent of respondents say that they expect a response within an hour. Use social listening tools to keep your pulse on the market.
2 Reply Even Faster
The reply doesn’t even have to provide a solution. A simple acknowledgement of the problem and a promise to look immediately into the particulars is enough.
3 Put Your Crisis Playbook into Action
Your brand playbook should provide the strategies to help resolve the problem. If there isn’t one or it’s incomplete, that’s step number one. It should include scenarios of what could potentially happen, a set of flexible responses that can answer these scenarios, and an escalation policy that determines who to find for a more firm resolution.
4 Contact the Complainer Privately
Ask the complainer about the causes of the bad review through email or private chat. Doing it out on the open could attract online trolls.
5 Let Them Vent
Unsatisfied customers vent through bad reviews. Let them. Don’t take it personally, because it’s better for your brand to let their grievances air in venues you have some control than somewhere it can blow up to be much bigger.
When you don’t know what to write, remember Disney’s customer complaint technique, HEARD:
6 Address the Source of the Bad Review
If you can solve the problem, show this to the customer. Provide plans and actionable pledges. But if the customer is a wrong fit for the product or is a jerk, politely accept that the problem is irreconcilable.
7 Build a Crisis Microsite
Now that you understand the problem, have a solution, and expect that this problem will occur again and again for the time being, build a microsite where you can showcase your plans to help customers.
8 Turn the Negative into a Positive
After solving the bad review, your company can proudly say that you listen to your customers. Inspire brand loyalty by showing the results of your actions: a new satisfied customer.
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