If you have been living in Singapore and been on social media, you would have seen the debacle featuring dessert shop Fantasy Desserts in Orchard Gateway and a customer who left a 2-star review. If you’ve missed it, you can read about it here, here, here and here.
This incident is a reminder of the importance of proper social media management and how social media can have a direct relationship to a company’s business. Here are 4 lessons we can learn from this.
- The importance of a proper social media response template
Responses to customer reviews should not be a case-by-case situation. All major companies have a crisis management framework in place. Any major incident that causes a potential long-term impact on a company would have been considered, and a response team and procedure in place should that incident occur. All businesses, big or small, should adopt the same mindset for social media.
Prepare a guidebook on any potential social media situation and how to respond to them. As social media is a platform that can be seen by many, you will want to tailor the exact wording each time and not ‘copy and paste’. However, there should be an underlying message that you intend to convey for each situation and the objective that it is intended to achieve.
- The importance of a social media manager
For many small businesses, manpower is a major issue and these companies are unlikely to have the manpower resources to devote a specialised person to manage social media. Instead, the owner will usually choose to do it themselves as they feel the most knowledgeable about the product or service. This is rarely a good idea.
Firstly. business owners are heavily invested into the product and they cannot remove their emotions from dealing with customers. Customers are more emboldened to speak the truth online as they get to avoid a potential face-to-face confrontation. Hence, any criticism online can be interpreted as a personal attack for the business owner.
Also, most business owners have no experience managing social media and don’t understand the nuance of social media management. Simple questions like ‘when should we take this offline’ and ‘what avenues are available for service recovery’ can become a challenge for them and it becomes a tic-and-tac conversation that does more harm than good.
- Understanding the laws governing social media
Firstly, like in any customer service process, de-escalation is always the most time and cost-effective way of resolving the issue. Understand the point of contention of the opposing party and figure out if it is something that can be resolved. Otherwise, what other options are there?
Secondly, the laws governing social media are generally quite new as social media is a relatively new phenomenon. In this instance, there is no precedent for a food & beverage operation to successfully win a libel or slander case that occurred in Singapore. To succeed in the court of law, it would take a law of money and time and the rewards will not be worth the cost.
- Turning negatives into positives
This goes beyond social media, but any customer-to-business interaction should be viewed as an opportunity to learn and understand your target audience better. When conducting a business transaction of any sort, the person making the purchase has a right to an opinion on whether the purchase is justified or not. If it is not, whether the reason is cost, quality or any other reason, then it is an opportunity to hear what you can do better. This is an opportunity to understand your target audience and it is FREE!
A genuine response that makes the customer feel that their opinion is heard and taken into consideration would have went a long way and they could even return even if the initial experience is not perfect.
Stratgeist is the predominant expert in enhancing social media performance for businesses. With more than a decade of experience in cutting edge social media technologies, Stratgeist helps businesses analyse the social media climate and tailor the strategy to get optimal results.