The customer is king. This has been the adage for decades when it comes to providing quality customer service. Keeping customers happy has always been important for repeat sales and positive word of mouth. These days, the specter of bad ‘press’ online means it’s vital to practice good customer relationship management (CRM). Your online marketing efforts in Atlanta need to focus on not only providing good service, but also on plans for how to handle things if you don’t.
Fortunately, customer service ratings overall are high. Mediapost.com reports finding from the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s ecommerce report. The result – satisfaction with websites was up 1%. Not only was satisfaction with online experience up, but total ecommerce sales rose 16% last year.
These results are actually quite impressive, considering that customer expectations are also higher. Consumers are more savvy when it comes to ecommerce, and they have less patience for sites that don’t work, and for companies that don’t respond.
Can you do better?
Now is the time to stop and ask yourself if you are providing the best possible online experience for your customers.
- Is your website design fresh and easy to navigate?
- Do you provide opportunities for feedback from your customers?
- Do you respond to that feedback?
- Is there a social media plan in place to not only spread the positive word, but also to deal with the negative?
Everyone loves a compliment, but they don’t always know how to accept one. Try telling them something fantastic about the way the look or perform, and often they will demure, deflect, even stumble through a response. If your company receives a positive shout-out, what do you do? Know that it’s okay to make the most of it.
- First, respond to the good comment. Thank them for their opinion, and give them a reason to believe you and want to engage again… “We appreciate your great feedback, we hope we can make you happy every time you do business with us.” If they didn’t provide details, try asking them what you did that made them happy.
- Take that feedback and make sure you reinforce, or even step up the practice.
- Use the comment as a promotional tool. Post the review on your website, or give the person a shout-out in a tweet.
Rewarding people for good behavior works. If someone provides positive feedback and shares that with others on their Facebook or Twitter accounts, think of a way to reward them.
It happens. There are times when, in spite of your best efforts, someone isn’t happy with your product or service. Social media is a fast, easy way for the disgruntled to vent. So what do you do when this happens? How do you know it is happening? You should already be using Google Alerts to be notified of talk about your company, and sproutsocial to monitor social channels for mentions. You should also be taking the time to monitor your website comments so that you can respond.
Be timely. The longer someone waits for a response to complaints, the less likely they are to be swayed in your favor.
Craft a response that implies your willingness to fix the situation and to make them happy. If the negative feedback goes viral, you’ll need to provide a well- thought -out response suited for the individual, as well as for a wider audience. Content Marketing Institute recommends these details for writing your response:
- If you have several points to make, use bullets, not numbers. Numbers can mistakenly imply importance or priority to certain items.
- Avoid contractions. It’s easy to misread “don’t” as “do”.
- Limit your sentences to 12- 15 words, use subheadings and short paragraphs.
- Draw attention with bold type. Underlined portions can wind up looking like a link.
Give a title to your response that includes keywords so it can be found in online searches.
Include your name, title, company name, and Web address.
Don’t respond in haste – reread your reply before doing anything with it. Upload your response to appropriate sites, especially where the negative comments appeared. If your attempts at rectifying the situation are met with ugly response, take the discussion offline.
Things happen fast online. While it’s a great place to market your offerings, it can also be a great place for feedback to spread. Make certain that you provide the positive experience that inspires positive response. If you are met with unflattering comments or reputation damaging complaints, be certain you are prepared to handle it in the arena where it occurs.
Do you have a CRM plan in place? Contact us and we can help you improve your online marketing and social media presence.