The role of a Community Manager has a promotional and technical side oriented to online marketing : the Social Media Marketing plan, content creation and curation, the measurement of your results and the analysis of your competitors. Another basic aspect is the need to be continuously updated on the different Social Networks, the various management tools and everything related to technology. Finally, it requires a great time availability, empathy, self-control and bargaining power: the Social Customer Service, the speciality of this blog. Today we will give some advice on how to handle difficult customers on Social Networks with these 10 keys:
1.- Appreciate their feedback :
Firstly you need to create receptivity. Consider that if an user has protested by no longer buying the goods or services offered by your brand or simply by not following your SM accounts, you are losing customers without knowing why. So let’s start thanking his/her involvement and showing interest in his/her complaints.
2.- Obtain and analyse all the information :
If the client has not given us enough information to assess the reason for the claim, you need to obtain it courteously by asking questions immediately afterwards in order to exactly know what happens. Do not act defensively in any case. These are basic customer service and ettiquette standards, valid both for online and offline assistance.
3.- Be empathetic :
Put yourselves in your customer’s shoes. How would we react if we had been treated the same way? Phrases like “I understand” or “I know what you mean” can open up many doors.
4.- Note that in Social Networks other people also read the dialogue :
Normally other readers tend to side with the unhappy customer and not with the brand, so you have to take good care of your language to avoid further exacerbate that bad perception. Instead of that, you should offer an acceptable solution to that claim in order to turn something that at first was a problem into an opportunity to enhance your image.
5.- Show yourselves always courteous and don’t take anything personally :
Good manners can always help to solve a complicated situation. Moreover, in response to any aggressive customer comment do not forget that you act as brand representatives and that they don’t really know you or have anything against you.
6.- If necessary, continue by other channels :
Tactfully and always thinking about the rest of the community watching your interaction, try to continue the conversation if it turns difficult to a more private channel such as a DM on Twitter, a Facebook message, a phone call or e-mail.
7.- Fast but with caution :
“Habillez-moi lentement, je suis pressé” or in English: “Dress me slowly, I’m in a hurry” it’s said that Napoleon ordered his assistant when he had to get ready to fight a battle. What I want to emphasise is that while it’s true that in Social Networks replies have to be made in a very short period of time, they must also be cautiously reasoned. That’s in fact an advantage in relation to traditional offline customer care, either by phone or face to face, where in extreme situations there is rarely a time margin for an agent to think about the answer given and only Customer Service experts are normally able to react appropriately.
8.- Prepare standard replies in advance :
A crisis protocol allows you to have different possible solutions to difficult situations, yet the variety of complaints that you will have may tend to infinity and there will always be something new, so you must also be able to improvise and have good negotiation skills.
9.- Good relationships with other staff :
It will allow you an easier access to technical data and tools better mastered by your colleagues in other departments. To obtain this you should always treat them as your internal customers, so they will be willing to help you when needed.
10.- Meet your commitments and make a good follow-up :
When you promise something to a customer, you must keep it. Likewise, you should contact afterwards to verify his/her satisfaction. This will surprise your client and make him engage to your brand and talk other people positively about it.