The very nature of social media makes it the ideal place to vent when you don’t get the customer service you want or when a product isn’t what you expected. Most businesses are just getting into social media and may be horrified to find people badmouthing them on Twitter or other networking venues. It can be a bit of a shock if you aren’t used to the instant feedback of the internet.
According to this survey, 60% of people use social media to complain about their experiences with companies. That’s a lot of unhappy people spreading the word! Add to that the fact that 74% of people make decisions based on what others report online and you have the potential for a serious drop in sales if a group of people dislike your product.
What does this mean for businesses? Should you just hide your head in the sand and ignore everything that people are saying? Of course not! This is actually the perfect opportunity for companies to interact with consumers and make their products better. Whether you think you have a hot product or not doesn’t matter. What matters is what people think of it. If they hate it, you can be sure everyone will know shortly of your product’s flaws.
While some might be discouraged or even angry about the idea of people criticizing their company, it’s actually a learning opportunity. There are a few factors here.
1. Your company has unlimited feedback from consumers. That is immensely valuable and many companies pay large sums of money to get that information through market research. With social media, your market research is pretty much free.
2. You have the opportunity to look great. Do you know what happens to a company that monitors social media for potential problems and then rushes to fix them? They get praised up and down the internet. And that, my friends, results in more sales. Even when no one is saying great things but mentions that you fixed the problem, people are going to notice and this can change their way of thinking about the product.
3. Interaction is key to customer satisfaction. Whether you are problem solving with an unhappy customer or just making contact with people who are interested in your services or products, you’ll find that people like knowing that a company has real people behind it. They’ll be far more interested in buying from you and will feel able to come to you with questions. That’s the beauty of social media, everyone is approachable.
Being badmouthed on Twitter or Facebook might not feel good, but if you’re smart, you’ll look at it as an opportunity to improve your business and make some friends while you’re at it.