As social media continues to evolve, it has become a platform to market products, provide customer support, find new customers and develop existing relationships. It provides an open forum for engagement with your audience, which presents benefits as well as challenges. Although a lot of your feedback will be positive, you may run into the occasional disgruntled customer who wants to be heard and share their story with a broad audience. If you have a social media presence, you already expect both positive and negative feedback. So how do you go about handling criticism and turning negative experiences around?
Here are a few tips to help you and your dealership handle negative comments quickly and appropriately, maintain your relationship with your customer and ensure they continue to have a positive experience with your brand.
- Do some research on the nature of the complaint; you can’t help if you don’t know. Find out why the customer is upset with the experience they had. Utilize data you have in your CRM. Take a look at their customer history and see if there have been any issues in the past.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Would you be happy if your parts were delayed or damaged, or if your service took longer than expected? Most customers don’t care about the issues that may have led to the problems. It is far better to handle these interactions by finding out what happened and how you can turn their experience into a positive one.
- Acknowledge comments swiftly. Response time is imperative. If you don't acknowledge customer complaints quickly, there is always a chance that others will join in and add fuel to the fire.
- Show your customers you care and want to find a solution. It may be as easy as always putting your customer first. Show empathy and compassion. If you made a mistake, own up to it. Mistakes happen. Recognize the mistake, apologize for it and offer a solution.
- Try taking the conversation off of social media, especially if the issue is complex. Try to touch base with the customer prior to responding on social media, whether it is by phone, email or chat. Taking the conversation away from social media and out of the public forum will give you a chance to have a one-on-one conversation. It should be between you and the customer. You don’t want to give this complaint the chance to spiral out of control on a public forum.
Responding to negative comments should be a part of any social media strategy. It shows your customers and prospects that you care about their experience with your brand, and your relationship with them. It also allows the public to see an honest portrayal of your business, putting a face behind the brand. Leaving these comments unattended or worse, deleting them, will only draw more attention and create a negative effect on your business. Negative comments can provide you with a golden opportunity to turn a potential naysayer into an advocate, if handled correctly. Don’t shy away from the challenges — accept them, overcome them and move on.
Derek Danner is the marketing coordinator for DX1, the complete dealership management platform for the powersports industry. DX1 gives dealers access to everything they need to manage and market their dealerships, including DMS, website & online marketing tools. Dealers save time and eliminate frustration with the efficiency of one login, one dashboard and a single database where customer and inventory data is stored.