I continue to hear so many people talking about how Social Media is such a great tool for monitoring customer complaints and for responding to them. One of the most prominent in this space is Frank Eliason who led the @comcastcares efforts at Comcast and who just published a book on this topic, “@ Your Service”. I haven’t yet read Frank’s book to see if he’s commented on what I’m about to say, however, so many companies focus on responding to customer complaints after they’ve been posted rather than being proactive and taking action before complaints go viral. While it is often impossible to please every customer or client and ensure that a customer experience is so exemplary that there are never complaints, wouldn’t it be wiser to invest in a strategy and formalize the tactics that will be used to engage with the customer or client before the fact rather than after? After all, once the proverbial “Genie Is Out Of The Bottle”, it is much more challenging to contain the issue and respond to it.
While it’s necessary to have a Social Media policy in place to deal with negative comments, I would highly suggest immediately establishing a practice within your business to ask your customers or clients their thoughts about your service or product before they leave your premises, leave your website, or get off the phone with you. A number of methods can be used to implement this; from a simple question being asked at the end of the experience as to what the customer thought, to having a kiosk within a dental office or restaurant where customers can immediately enter feedback about their experience. If it’s negative, it can immediately be acted on before the person has a chance to post a comment to Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, or other sites.
Photo Credit- http://Flickr.com/blue.skyphotography.com