These days customers have become very vocal. There is no way one can mishandle a support request and get away with it unscathed. Customers don’t mind airing dirty laundry in public irrespective of who is at fault in the first place. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter ensure that complaints echo across the globe in no time.
When a customer is calling your company out in a public forum, you need to be smart as well sensible in handling the issue. After the break we shall ponder over three important steps to work our way through a public spectacle.
Doing all that you can to prevent customers from making a public outcry is golden. However, it’s easier said than done. A major chunk of customers become irate after receiving no response from the support team. Indifference and impolite responses from staff rank a close second.
Establishing checks and balances to ensure that support tickets don’t fall into the cracks in the system and educating the support staff will go a long way in keeping the situation under control.
So, you dropped the ball and customer called you names in Twitter. Once the issue is in public, waiting for the issue to die down over time isn’t a good idea at all. Even at this juncture, you can salvage the brand image by being graceful and understanding. Instead of getting defensive or beating around the bush trying to pin the issue on the customer, show empathy and apologize.
A sorry goes a long way in cooling off tempers and shows how caring and accountable your company is. With a bit of luck and perseverance, you might be able to earn some brownie points for being considerate and customer friendly.
Work out a compensation package for the customer for his/her pain and suffering. And for God’s sake make sure you or whoever is in charge makes good on the promise. You don’t want to appear as someone who makes empty promises to wiggle out of uncomfortable situations.
As soon as that’s done, it’s imperative that you work on finding out where the process went wrong and why things got out of hand. It’s hard to save face when another customer accuses you of the same issue all over again!
Got experience handling a publicly venting out customer? Share with us your thoughts and experiences!