When loyalty program managers open their emails at 8 a.m., some may watch their inbox load through cautiously squinting eyes, hoping they don’t see the dreaded “high importance” exclamation point from someone on the social media team. According to Tracx, a social media monitoring service, there are more than 2.8 billion social media users worldwide – and that means, there are 2.8 billion people with their own personal broadcast channel in both good times and bad.
When your organization gets hit with a negative social media post (and, face it, it’s a matter of when, not if), arm yourself with a plan to handle the post swiftly before the virality of the internet takes hold. Particularly with the growing usage of social among younger demographic sets, program managers should embrace the bright side of negative engagement with the following steps:
- Be proactive. To the extent possible, try to get in front of the issue even before it occurs. That means making customers aware of planned or impending service disruptions, which will help set expectations and minimize frustration when customers become aware of a problem.
- Listen. Monitor your social profiles and actively listen for brand mentions. Sometimes the act of listening in and of itself can help dampen a fire before it gets too hot. According to the Customer Experience Report from Harris Interactive, 58 percent of respondents would like the company to respond to a comment on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter. That said, only 22 percent who posted a comment generally receive a response. Responding promptly presents a clear opportunity for brands that want to stand out.
- Acknowledge & evaluate. Determine what happened and whether the issue is legitimate. Then find out if the customer’s feedback includes a suggestion for how they’d like the situation rectified.
- Be accountable. React promptly. Sometimes that may simply mean an apology. For situations that demand greater escalation, empower your social media team to help.
- Remove obstacles. From red tape forms to cranky customer service agents, there are plenty of hurdles to providing great customer experience. It’s your job to remove them.
Want the last three steps of the process? Be sure to download our whitepaper, “The Art of Keeping Customers,” to learn how you can surprise and delight customers with tactics that foster lasting relationships.