More and more savvy business owners are finding ways to engage with their clients on social media. They send out tweets, photos, and specials. They answer client questions and use their social media presence to draw people to their online outlets.
But there is one kind of social media update that many businesses forget: reaching out to customers when something goes wrong.
Twitter and Facebook have the advantage of allowing you to quickly inform many people about issues or problems. You don't need to worry about whether someone opens up your email or not, since your message shows up right in their social media feed.
If you experience an outage, a shipping delay, or another problem that will affect large numbers of clients, posting a message online is one way to keep them abreast of any issues.
Hey, we understand: you may not want to share negative news online because you worry it will make your business look bad. But customers are far more likely to be understanding if they are informed about a problem in advance than if they stumble across it themselves.
Think, for instance, of a time you tried to do a transaction online and you seem to get caught in a loop or your entries do not seem to be working. Or a time that you called a customer service line only to be put on hold for 20 minutes or more. Wouldn't it have been better to know what is going on than to wonder and waste time trying to solve the issue on your end?
Your customers feel the exact same way. A few instances where a social media message can allay customer fears and frustrations:
No system is perfect. And sometimes things go wrong. But by making the issue known as quickly as possible, you allow customers to cope with the situation and, when necessary, make other arrangements.
Believe it or not, by being upfront and honest, you’ll create more loyalty among your customers.
This, of course, does not mean that you should not use discretion and PR savvy when posting. Have a policy in place in advance so that, when you do have to take to social media with bad news, the situation does not wind up becoming a social media nightmare. A few key points to include in your policy:
No business ever has 100% smooth sailing. Lag time, downtime, and other issues are to be expected. But when you use your social media presence to communicate and keep your customers in the loop, you can come out on top, no matter what life throws at you.