Customer Service Facebook Like

Published on January 6th, 2011 | by Janine Popick

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How to Turn a Negative Customer into an Advocate

It happens to the best of us. Sometimes we fail a customer. We hate it but no company is perfect. And with all of the social media platforms available, the customer can get so angry they blog about it, they Tweet it and put it up on Facebook for the world to see. And not only their followers can see it, but if anyone is following your company name and someone negatively (and positively) Tweets about you, anyone can see it.

So how do you turn the negative into a positive?

How to Handle Social Media

First of all, follow your own company name, then if someone posts something to Twitter or Facebook negative about their experience with your company, ask them to call you, or ask them to email you so you can discuss the issue. If the issue has been fixed, go ahead and apologize, then reply to them (or direct message) that you’ve heard their concerns and fixed the issue. Any way you can, start a dialog with them.

How to Handle the Nasty Email

Many of us have been there. You’ve got a customer who sends the email of all emails wrought with anger about their experience. Much of it is them getting their emotions out into another medium. But what happens on the other end of that sent email is that some poor person whose job it is to deal with customers gets the email and most of the time, they had nothing to do with the issue. It’s time to take a deep breath, not take offense, and focus on the issue. Picking up the phone can go a long way in building your customer relations because most of the time your customer isn’t even expecting an email back let alone a call.

The message is, going above and beyond to get to the heart of these issues will go far in turning a negative experience for your customers into a positive one. Chances are if ONE of your customers is experiencing this issue, others are too, they’re just not communicating with you.

The best thing you can do is to make sure whenever you upgrade something or fix an issue customers are having, tell ALL of your customers even if you think it illustrates a weakness you have. You’ll make more customers happy which is what you want in the long run.

Do you have any experience turning a negative into a positive? Love to hear it!

© 2011 – 2012, Janine Popick. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

is a contributing author for VerticalResponse.



3 Responses to How to Turn a Negative Customer into an Advocate

  1. Research has shown that the best service companies rely on one key factor in dealing with complaints – the employee who is presented with the complaint (or negative experience) is empowered to resolve it. The customer should never be passed on to someone else to deal with the problem. Few things should follow to trun negative customers to positive customers. like, Listen to the customer’s complaint, Take the complaint serious even if it is small in your eyes, Resolve the complaint and if you are unable to do so at that given moment, take ownership of resolving the complaint. Offer apologies for not meeting the customer’s expectations right away. Definitely we will get the good customers with quick response.

  2. Great story Paul! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Paul L'Acosta says:

    My wife operates a pet care business and she loved the idea of having a Facebook and a Twitter page for me to manage. That was until a customer went to our Facebook page and posted a very detailed message of how “the company failed to its promises” and “never bothered to call me to let me know no one could make it to the appointment”. One of the employees failed to show up for a visit (had an accident) and we didn’t know about it until we saw the post.
    Suffice it to say, my wife went ballistic when she saw the post. I replied to it explaining that the employee had an accident and that we “definitely dropped the ball”. In other words, we didn’t make excuses. I just wanted for it to stop there and not transform into a chat.
    Two hours later, seven customers that have never engaged on the page before, started praising the company and how wonderful we were to their pets.
    Wife suddenly realized she just got a crash course on the power of social media…
    Great post Janine! Best of luck in 2011! ~Paul

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