Oh, you know there are times you want to do it – and sometimes it’s deserved; but one of the biggest mistakes I see on social media is The Rant. It makes me cringe when I see businesses engage irate customers, colleagues, competitors or former employees in a public verbal battle on social media. It’s unprofessional and damaging to your business’ reputation to engage in this type of interaction.
FACT: People are not always going to be happy with you! It’s not a matter of if it happens, but when. There are too many people in this world, and the fact of the matter is the more we reach out and engage with people at different levels, the more likely that we’re gonna make someone unhappy. The trick is how you deal with these people.
Being quick to respond in a positive manner to customer complaints is one of the best things I’ve seen done on social media. Ignoring the complaint doesn’t make it go away – when people see that you are responding and making an effort to make a unhappy customer happy, they respond positively to your show of effort (as long as it’s genuine and proper for the situation) There are some customers that have had a bad experience (from their point of view) that you will never make happy. That’s okay. Deal with the complaint as best you can quickly and appropriately and let it go. ALWAYS be cordial and professional when handling customer complaints – even if the customer is obnoxious and rude.
FACT: Employees come and go. Not always happily. Whether you let an employee go, they choose to leave on their own, or it’s a mutual separation, the situation can be tense. Don’t let angry employees bring you down. If they are ranting about what a horrible boss you are on social media or are talking negatively about your business (as long as it’s non-threatening) IGNORE them! Engaging angry ex-employees is never a good idea! Fight the negativity with positive posts about your business. EXAMPLE: Joe, your former cook is talking about how horrible your restaurant is – unclean and not up to safety and health standards. Combat that negative with a picture of you holding your health department inspection certificate and a thumbs up for passing or post a picture of your newly organized prep area.
Getting into a public battle on social media only makes the negativity grow. Nip it in the bud and turn the situation into a win for your business. Handle customer complaints quickly and appropriately and your followers will show their appreciation and loyalty. Whatever you do, don’t post a long rant on your social media – I promise…you are only hurting yourself!