We all love to find out that our prospects and customers are saying great things about our company and products online. Yeah, that feels great. But, what if they are saying bad things about you online? Even worse, what if they are true? What if someone dropped the ball and no one knows to pick it up until you receive a very angry support email. The time to resolve an issue isn’t after they have gotten really upset with you. After you resolve their issue people are less inclined to then go back in and update their post. Better to address it then and there in such a wonderful way that anyone reading thier post is won over with the resolution itself. Chances are if you are getting flamed online there is an opportunity for you to improve your processes and then brag about that online. The good news is that you can learn about issues before they blow up now, the bad news is you might learn about an issue for the first time online.
I recently had a conversation with a small business owner whose company was finally (thinking about) getting their social media marketing in order. He was concerned about approving the project because it would allow customers and prospects to write comments and replies to his company’s blog posts and other social media vehicles. “What if they say bad things about us?” He had been hesitant to launch anything that might allow this to occur.
I explained the obvious, that their customers and prospects are going to talk about his company regardless of his social media policies. If you allow them to vent on sites which you monitor and have control over, it gives you an opportunity to interact with them, help them, and improve your online reputation. With sincere and positive communication, it is possible to turn even your most upset customers into your biggest fans. People like being heard and helping to improve your company…if you let them. So, let them.
Social Media Monitoring Tools
Using a tool can help you quickly see where you are being talked about and what was said. You can do something as simple as plugging in your search terms into a site like Social Mention: http://www.socialmention.com/ or a more complete solution like Mention that adds competitive analysis, finding influencers, custom insights and automated reports. You can find out more about them here: https://mention.com/en/. If those aren’t enough here are 15 free social media monitoring tools listed and summarized: https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/top-10-free-social-media-monitoring-tools/
Add Social CRM
We talked about Social CRM to help his team track and deal with problems much earlier than they ever otherwise would have heard about them. He liked that. He agreed with the philosophy that “a stitch in time saves nine” and having the tools to act proactively appealed to him. The more he educated himself on the changes in buyer behaviors the more onboard he got, until at one point he became the biggest proponent for getting the changes incorporated into their marketing and sales processes. For more information about Social Marketing CRM basics see our blog here: TinyURL.com/DamageContol
One of the best instances of social media changing buyer behavior that I have experienced was on Amazon.com. I was looking for a software product. Reading the customer reviews (which I always do). I came across a customer who gave the product I was considering a single star and then ranted for two paragraphs about how hard the product was to install and how poor the support was at helping him.
The next entry was from the company’s support manager. He gave his personal email and phone number and told the guy to call him and he would walk him through the installation process personally. I bought the product right there. I was impressed that they were monitoring the site and that the very next day they responded positively. The support guy didn’t care that he was posting his personal information and name on the web. He took the chance to fix the problem.
Your customers and prospects are going to talk. They are probably talking about you right now. The question is, will you see their comments and take the opportunity to help them, or hide your head in the sand and pretend it isn’t happening?