Many companies might be afraid to respond to negative tweets, but in an ideal world they should be using these comments to their advantage.
Twitter is like having a direct line of access to your customers’ train of thought. It’s a place where they can evaluate your products and feedback on your services.
Instead of feeling upset or defensive, a simple shift in your perspective allows you to view comments or complaints as free market research. Here’s how to handle a negative tweet.
Monitor your account
Closely monitoring your Twitter feed is likely to help you note any re-occurring problems and patterns within comments that you might not have previously identified as important.
“By monitoring Twitter effectively you will be in a position to diffuse potentially negative situations rapidly,” CP Communications founder and director, and social media expert, Catriona Pollard recently said.
You don’t want to treat Twitter like a one-way street for marketing purposes and ignore what customers have to say.
“Ignoring complaints on Twitter, or any other social media platform for that matter, is not an option as it will simply worsen the problem.”
Quickly responding to negative tweets makes your customers feel validated and that their issues are being taken seriously.
But people don’t necessarily just want an apology – they are after a solution and they want to feel your company cares. A reply coupled with a solution to the complaint is a great approach, explains Pollard. The longer you leave it unresolved, the more disappointed the customer becomes. Remember, they need to know you are listening to them.
If the complaint is in error, reply with polite but accurate, factual information.
Build a loyal customer base
As customers begin to see your business interacting and engaging with comments and providing solutions, they are likely to start recommending you to other networks, explains Pollard.
It’s the equivalent of having a set of loyal ambassadors recommending you and potentially even replying to Twitter criticism on your behalf in your defence, she says.
You have the power to define how a negative comment impacts your business. If it’s handled badly, customers might go elsewhere and influence others to do the same. Complaints that are handled properly build credibility and could result in new customers being referred to your business.
Formulate a strategy
If you’re serious about using Twitter as a business tool, create a social media policy to identify someone who’s in charge of responding to complaints and prepare for all situations, suggests Pollard.
Your Twitter account should represent your brand to the fullest extent possible. Include your company’s logo, share great content and respond quickly and factually to your customers.
Think of Twitter as a living, breathing, real-time conversation. Clarify your business’ social media goals, its message, develop a content strategy, focus on a target audience, timeframes and your KPIs, recommends Pollard.
Just don’t lose sight of creating a great experience for your customers.