Eli Rose Social Media specializes in helping small businesses optimize their online presence. They offer everything from search engine optimization to easy to understand training to ongoing social media management. Every Tuesday, they offer insights to the readers of Little Indiana on how to use the internet and social media to build their online brand. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.
When you start to manage your business presence online, you’ll get lots of customer feedback. With any luck, most of it will be extremely positive. However, there will occasionally be situations where a customer will take their displeasure to the internet. While we strongly advocate every company having a specific strategy for dealing with this before it ever happens, there are a few basic guidelines that can apply to every business.
Use these 5 tips to help manage any online presence (and most in person interactions too).
Customer Service Tips
- Be Patient When dealing with someone who has something negative to say, it’s easy to want to snap at them or cut them off. In fact, it’s human. However, this only leads to increased misunderstandings and elevated emotions. Take a second to listen to everything the other person has to say. Making them feel heard is often a huge part of the problem.
- Choose Your Words Carefully After you’ve taken the time to listen, give yourself a moment to choose the right words. Telling a customer you appreciate their situation often gets you much further than “you’re wrong”. You don’t need to bend over backwards but keeping your language neutral throughout these conversations helps everyone come away a winner.
- Address the customers feelings Let the customer know that you wouldn’t want to be in the situation they’re in. This gives them a signal that you are truly interested in helping them. By addressing the customer’s feelings, you let them know you’re on the same team.
- Take it Offline When at all possible, address concerns where they were voiced. However, once the initial steps are taken, do your best to move the conversation offline. This allows you to maintain privacy and dignity for everyone. It also prevents others in your network from “picking sides” in this dispute. There are a number of ways to take it offline, from asking the customer to Private Message you to picking up the phone to calling them directly.
- Do not publish names and address information Whatever you do, please, please do not let people know where someone lives. We recently saw a page where, when the page manager was upset with a user, called them out by name and provided address information. This is poor positioning, makes you look childish, and has some legal and safety concerns. No matter how heated the battle gets, keep personal information private.
Customer Service Template
All this is well and good but how do you put it into action? Simple: use this example of how to address customer concerns as a template for future interactions. Let’s say you receive a Facebook post indicating one of your customers has received a package that was damaged in shipping. This would be a great response to their complaint:
“Thanks for reaching out. I can understand your situation and am happy to help. I know it’s never fun to receive a shipment with damaged goods. If you send us a Private Message, we’ll get this worked out quickly.”
Do you have any tips that work for you when managing customer service online?
Interested in learning more? Head on over to Eli Rose Social Media or follow them on them on Facebook or Twitter.
Small towns: destinations, not drive-thrus. Just don’t forget to tell them that Little Indiana sent you.