It may work on the dance floor (if you have the moves, that is), but it’s a baaad idea on social media – especially when heated discussions are carried out on public platforms for all the world to see.
“What Not to Do” on Social Media
- A group of women ate at a local restaurant and were extremely dissatisfied with their experience. They complained of slow service, cold food and even colder staff.
- Two days later, the woman who paid the bill with her credit card received a private message from the restaurant owner’s private Facebook account. (The article implied that he may have used the woman’s credit card information to track her down.) The owner told her that he did not want her group to come back to his restaurant and urged her to work out, writing, “go to the gym…you will need it.”
- A few days after that, another woman in their dining group posted on Facebook about their experience, sharing select portions of the private Facebook conversation mentioned above. Her post was shared more than 900 times.
- After this woman posted about their experience, someone used the restaurant’s Facebook account to respond to critical reviews on its page. Those comments – many of which were offensive – were deleted soon after they were posted.
The fact that this restaurant owner would lower himself to this level is appalling. It’s a preposterous example of everything that you should not do when a client is unhappy.
What Should You Do When a Client Spouts off Online?
First of all, don’t get “down and dirty” on social media. Locking horns online may make you feel temporarily vindicated, but it will ultimately backfire!
When a customer tries to engage you in digital mud-slinging, do this instead:
- Hug your haters. He may be angry, but his negative feedback is actually a gift.
- Defuse the situation. Give your customer the benefit of the doubt. Hear him out and don’t take his comments personally.
- Implement your killer service recovery process. Apologize. Take responsibility. And then make it right!
At the end of the day, handling unhappy customers the right way can separate your company from the rest of the pack. Respectfully acknowledging customers’ issues, solving their problems and sending them away singing your praises creates word-of-mouth advertising that’s just as likely to go viral as their complaints. So train and empower your staff to make things right for your clients – and turn disgruntled customers into your biggest fans!