When you deal with the public, complaints are inevitable. You can’t please everyone all the time, right? So what do you do with the complaints you receive? Your response can go a long way toward improving or maintaining your brand’s reputation, especially in today’s social media environment.
The advent of social media has empowered consumers to speak freely about the brands they interact with. Prior to social media, the effort needed to call or write a letter was often enough to prevent a consumer from complaining.
Now, in just a couple of quick sentences, the consumer can complain and all of the world will hear/see it. The consumer’s ability to voice their opinions, long and loud, makes protecting your brand’s reputation more important than ever.
The University of Florida recently identified five types of complainers. Today we’ll look at these types and offer suggestions on how to approach them via social media.
The Meek Customer
The Meek Customer is one who will generally not complain unless pushed to the brink. If you see one of these consumers on your Facebook or Twitter page, respond quickly with an acknowledgement of their complaint and an apology. This will usually turn the Meek Customer around.
The Aggressive Customer
The Aggressive Customer complains often. To resolve issues with an Aggressive Customer move the conversation off social media to private messages or email. Find out this customer’s entire list of complaints (ask, “Is there anything else?”) before acknowledging the problem and offering solutions to fix it. Never respond aggressively or make excuses to the Aggressive Consumer.
The High-Roller Customer
The High-Roller Customer is ready to spend whatever it takes to get the best product or service available. When a High-Roller complains they want results, not excuses. Acknowledge their complaint, take the conversation offline and offer solutions to the problem. A happy High-Roller could help your bottom line sales number.
The Opportunist Customer
The Opportunist Customer can be hardest to satisfy. They aren’t necessarily interested in solving the problem, but would rather acquire special privileges. If you hear the words “that’s not good enough”, you know you have an Opportunist Customer on your hands. When dealing with an Opportunist, it is important to remain objective, provide accurate information and be consistent with company policy. Find out what you can do to make it right before offering a solution that may not suffice.
The Chronic Complainer Customer
The Chronic Complainer Customer is always dealing with one problem or another. Nothing is ever right or good enough. Engage the Chronic Complainer offline and get ready to use all your patience. While you are likely to hear from the Chronic Complainer frequently, this customer is also likely to appreciate acknowledgement and efforts to rectify the situation.
Regardless of the type of consumer you are facing, there are several things to keep in mind as you communicate with them via social media or in offline conversations. First, always engage the consumer. Give them your name and address them by their name. Show them they are more than just a number; that their business means something to you. Create a connection.
Second, empathize with them. A sincere “I’m sorry” can go a long way to helping rectify any situation. Show them you understand their concern and are willing to work to fix it.
Those who engage in social media expect a response quickly. You can’t wait days to respond. Minutes or hours are preferred. Don’t let a complaint sit out there without a response. Empower your staff to respond quickly to complaints received via social media with pre-approved responses and the ability to provide solutions.
Your brand’s reputation is more important than ever. Keeping an eye on your social media accounts is not only important, it is necessary. Qiigo’s brand reputation management software makes it easy to keep track of your national brand reputation as well as keeping an eye on what individual locations are facing. Find out more about our brand reputation management software by calling (404) 496-6841.