This post has been inspired by an exchange I had with what appeared to be either an Econet higher-up or their flunkie, responding to a post about their website, the link to which I emailed them in good faith. It originally appeared at businessknowhow.com, a generic site for basic business ideas and common sense.
You know that old saying, “You can’t please all the people all the time?” Even the companies with the best products and customer service have critics. But the Internet and social media amplify critics’ voices, giving them a large and receptive audience. It could hurt your business if you don’t have a good response.
Monitor the Internet for Comments
Social media communications strategies include monitoring comments out there on the Internet. Identify and counter criticism rather than letting it stand on its own as the undisputed truth.
Let Your Initial Reaction Subside
You poured your heart and soul into building your business, so naturally it stings to see it criticized. Don’t respond to a negative comment until you put that feeling aside. An emotional response hurts your credibility.
Assess the Truth of Negative Statements
When you find a criticism of your Web site, determine whether it’s true. Answer honestly. Has the critic identified a weak link in your brand?
Your response must demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction.
If the criticism is blatantly false, contact the Webmaster and politely ask them to remove the comment. Remember, the Webmaster didn’t write the comment, so keep a friendly tone. If the Webmaster doesn’t delete the comment, write a rebuttal and post it on the site.
Negative, but True
If the critic has a valid point, write a response that acknowledges the truth in the statement. Take a positive approach: explain how you are correcting the situation and highlight some things you’ve done right. Also, consider offering the critic a refund or special offer to give your business another try in your response. This action will demonstrate to other readers that you have a real commitment to customer satisfaction.
Winning the trust of the audience at large is more important than converting a single critic. Stay positive and show that you care enough about your customers to engage in honest dialog, and people will reward you with their business.