By Susan K. Maciak, Consultant
If a customer has a complaint about your company and tells all their friends about it on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites, where do you run and hide? Nowhere. You tackle the problem head on.
Of course, it’s embarrassing to be berated in public, but it’s also a great opportunity for on-the-spot customer service. Going online to apologize and make retribution for something gone wrong can be excellent customer service, good publicity for an organization and an instant way to stop the rumor mill and protect your company’s reputation.
Criticized online? Own up to it and make amends
The best approach is to tackle the problem head on. Put your apology in writing in the comment space, explaining how you will plan to remedy the situation. That’s not only an act of courage that will help make the original dissatisfied customer happy. It’s a strategy that will show all your followers and your critic’s friends that you care about customers and that you’re willing to go out of your way to make them happy.
The notion that you shouldn’t respond to negative criticism is outdated. Addressing a complaint in public won’t encourage more complainers. It won’t put a negative spin on your company’s reputation. It won’t make you look bad. If you handle criticism with grace and good nature, you can even turn a negative into a positive.