How do you interact with customers and deal with reputation and crisis management?
Social media has revolutionized how businesses interact with customers and handle crisis management. Consumers can now directly communicate with their favorite brands without having to sign up for anything or even pick up the phone. However, social media can be a double edge sward. When something does go wrong, customers can quickly and publicly voice their frustrations about your products, employees, and company policies.
In the Forbes article, “10 Tips For Reputation And Crisis Management In The Digital World,” Ekaterina Walter suggests that developing a reputation and crisis management plan can properly prepare your team for an unhappy customers. She also discusses and proves valuable tips for implementing your customer resolution plan to tackle reputation and crisis management.
Listen and Be Present
If your business has a social media account, make sure it’s being managed properly. Customers who post their opinion expect a response. Not responding can be bad for business. A simple response that contains a direct website link or an email contact opinion is better than no response at all.
Set the Right Expectations
Small businesses may not have the resources to respond immediately to negative comments. Determine an appropriate response time for your team. Whether it’s 24, 48, or 72 hours, it’s critical to always meet your planned response time.
Don’t remove or ignore any negative posts. Removing or hiding these posts can send the wrong message to your customers. Try solving the issue privately if responding publicly doesn’t work. Be honest and upfront with issues happening within your company and address them internally as soon as possible. Apologize and resolve to correct your mistake.
Putting effort into a thoughtful response can build trust among your customers. A successful resolution to a customer issue will demonstrate to all customers that you care.
Do Not Lose Your Cool – Ever
Don’t take things personally. You aren’t always going to agree with your customers but posting a rude response on social media is never appropriate. Respond professionally and provide the best information available to satisfy the unhappy customer.
Have a Crisis Management Team In Place
Be sure to have a process in place to quickly resolve any issue before it turns into a bigger problem. An ideal crisis management team consists of members from PR, HR, legal, and marketing departments.
Manage Access to Your Social Media Accounts Carefully
Don’t give business social media account credentials to just anyone. Limit access to trustworthy and knowledgeable employees that have appropriate training. Social media accounts should be treated like any other PR vehicle. Personal thoughts should not be posted.
Post Moderation Guidelines
All social media accounts should have moderation guidelines to ensure you maintain control of your page. Guidelines should tell users what types of behavior will not be tolerated. Moderators should use simple, easy to understand guidelines to manage and remind users of proper etiquette.
Hire Experienced Community Managers
Don’t underestimate social media. It is very important to your reputation as well as your overall brand image. Leaving social media to your interns is not the best option. An experienced social media manager has the experience to handle disgruntled customers.
You Will Never Please Everybody
Reputation and crisis management is not designed to please everyone. Instead the social media guidelines are developed to ensure consistent, honest, and transparent online communications with your customers.