Numerous companies have started to utilize social media in order to help enhance their online presence, hopefully increasing their business in turn. Facebook is one obvious avenue for this, but it is important to remember that with the good media exposure all sometimes comes the bad. Just as you see on listing sites such as Yelp, Judy’s Book, or even Google Maps, customers are able to post reviews relevant to their experience with your company, and they might not always be positive.
Facebook allows you to share photos of your business, provide information about the company, and even post news updates and promotions on your wall. It is the hope of each business that more and more people will “like” your page (sometimes a coupon/discount as a little incentive helps), and eventually your popularity within this outlet will grow. You have to remember, though, that these people can comment on your updates and post on your wall as well. When these comments are pleasant and positive, a company would obviously be happy to keep them up and would hope others saw them too and became interested as well. But what if someone has something a little less encouraging to say? Do you immediately delete this post (sometimes more than once, as some will continue to try and get their point across), or do you acknowledge the comment and propose a solution to fix it? It might be an immediate decision for some people to remove the comment so as to prevent others from viewing your business negatively as well, but one suggestion is that you leave the post and take professional responsibility.
First of all, ignoring a customer’s complaint is never something a business owner should do. Furthermore, deleting a comment from your Facebook business page won’t stop that person from speaking to others about the issue or using other avenues to complain. You will gain much more respect by addressing the problem head on. In fact, participating in the conversation in such a public network where others are able to see will show your concern for your customers and your willingness to right a bad situation. Just because a customer was unhappy once, doesn’t mean you have to lose their business forever- acknowledging the issue, offering a solution and attempting to mend an unhappy situation could in fact create a lifelong relationship with this person- the same person who once could have prevented you from furthering your business could now be using Facebook to speak highly about your company to others.
So, when joining the social media world as a company, remember all of the potential positive and not-so-positive situations that might arise. Embrace the contributions from other people, even if they are criticisms that you do not agree with. You might not always be able to please everyone, but a company that is showing their investment in their customers is one that will receive much more respect and potentially more praise overall in this online world where everyone wants to be seen.
– Casey Guntlow
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