This post has been cooking up in my head for the last week and yesterday I decided to actually write it. I apologize in advance if it’s a long one, as I need to tell you the background story, but I’ll try to keep it as short as I can 🙂
I will start with the “bottom line”. My personal story that is behind my set of tips follows, if you have the time and patience!
What NOT to do when an angry client posts on your Facebook page?
The following all happened to me (I was the client, on the receiving end, yes also of the threats!) just recently….
- Remember – most people will take to your Facebook page after failing to get responses or service in another way or channel. Do not assume that they just want to “spite” you or damage you.
- Do not remove their comment – comment to it, try to calm them down, offer to talk to them and get to the bottom of it. They may not always be right, but they are your clients and you owe them that much respect to believe them and at least really try to find out what happened. If the comment is written in foul language you can “hide” it (so they will still see it but others won’t) but still, talk to them. Make them feel they are listened to.
- Do not call them to yell, curse and call names – call them to find out why they are angry. Explain your side calmly.
- Do not threaten them! The Internet is full of precedents about SLAPP actions and everyone has a right to express their opinion, tell about their personal customer experience and post reviews. As long as they did not name people or bluntly lied about you or your brand, it’s a review. Not a libel. All social networks also incorporated review and ranking tools – for this purpose specifically! The reviews are a learning and improvement opportunity for you, not as a personal insult.
- Understand the marketing tools you are using. Invest time in actually learning what Facebook or other social networks are, how they can work for you and for your clients, how they can be a communication channel, what do the stats mean. Learn to read insights and don’t assume, that just because you have a Facebook page you also have an audience at all and an engaged and active one at that. Don’t make a fool of yourself. If you refer to Facebook and other social networks as a means of self-promotion only – better stop right there and don’t waste your time. If you feel you are unable time wise or other wise to professionally learn and manage your social media – hire someone else to do it. But don’t assume you were “damaged” by any negative mention or post and don’t assume that all your posts and links to your website are seen by hundreds or thousands of people (unless you promote, but even then).
This morning I saw another quote from Brian Solis that pretty much sums it up: “The answer is bigger than customer service and marketing. It’s everything, at every touch point”.