Fear # 3: What if people complain about me and ruin my reputation?

What would you do if someone was badmouthing your business on the internet? Would you be able to resolve the problem quickly or would you even know that they were saying something in the first place? When it comes to small, referral-based businesses, this can be a scary thing to think of because someone may be irrevocably damaging your image and your whole means of attracting business and you don’t even know it. So the big question is how do you prevent this from happening? Well, the answer is simple, don’t do anything that will make people complain in the first place! Just in case you’re not perfect though you need to be prepared for someone to say something and how you are going to deal with it when it happens.

The first step is that you need to establish your online presence. Having a Facebook page or twitter profile will help you to identify when people make negative comments as they will probably be doing it on your page or mentioning you in their tweet. If the comment is directed at you then you need to respond quickly. If you can resolve the issue and remove the comment as quickly as possible, it won’t cause that much damage and the once unhappy customer should be more pleased with your service. If customers are posting things that you are unaware of, or you are not responding to these comments, for every day that you leave them unattended, they can be doing damage to your image, to the point that anyone with a computer may not want to use your services, or buy your products.

Although the customers who are unhappy with your service will make a stink about it, you may have a lot of customers who are just complacent. These customers are not unhappy or overly happy with your services and that’s not a problem, but it’s not a good thing either. I was once a complacent customer of Telus and now I tell everyone about the time they wowed me with their customer service. I got a cheque in the mail from them for $18 and I had no idea why but I wasn’t going to call in, deal with the automated receptionist, wait on hold forever and then be transferred until I found the right person. I wasn’t upset with the service and it wasn’t a question I was dying to know the answer to. Instead I tweeted about the instance and within a couple hours, Telus had tweeted me back, asking for my phone number so that they could call me to resolve the issue. So I had the right person calling me, NO TRANSFERS, NO WAITING ON HOLD, and NO AUTO-RECEPTIONIST. We ended up figuring out what the money was for and their customer service surprised me so much that I tell everyone about them, hence this blog article.

Now I know you may be thinking that you don’t have the same time and budget as Telus, but the point of the story is that social media can provide an extra little customer service to make complacent customers, your new biggest fans, and referral sources. Just being out there, paying attention to what people are saying, and joining the conversation can really help with your image management and can do more good for your business than you ever imagined. It is extremely important to support your unhappy customers and social media is a great tool for that kind of problem solving. Just remember, it also is a great tool to help create a lot of happy customers as well.


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