I’ve never quite understood companies that ignore their customers when they complain online. If a customer is standing physically in front of you and complaining, you’re basically required to at least talk with them. But when it comes to customers complaining about you via Facebook, Twitter, and other online channels., lots of companies just ignore them. In 2011, 79 percent of customers who shared complaints about poor customer experience online were ignored. And why? Because the squeaky wheel gets ignored since it’s easy to do so, especially online.
You can’t ignore customers and get away with it.
The 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report gives us two huge reasons to not ignore customers:
- 89 percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.
- 50 percent of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them.
You get one week to respond. After that, your customers will leave and find someone who will listen to them.
There’s power of responding.
One of the great things about customer is they just want to be heard. You probably won’t be able to fix every single problem they have. And they’re okay with that! They just want a response. From the same study:
- When customers received a response to their complaint, 46% were pleased.
- 22% actually posted a positive comment about the company or brand afterwards.
A customer makes a complaint, the company contacts them, and almost half are happy just from getting a response.
Keep one eye everywhere.
One of the things I recommend in Support Kit is watching different channels even if you don’t actively participate there. It’s okay to only focus on a few distinct channels to talk with customers. But you need to be paying attention and managing expectations in channels that your customers are trying to talk to you in.
A brand not responding on Twitter is like hanging up the phone on customers. With millions watching.” – Dave Kerpen
Anywhere your customers are, you need to be watching and listening. Even if you don’t provide full support via Twitter, you need to watch for customers that reach out to you there. It’s fine to redirect them by saying, “Hey, can you email us with that question?” It’s not fine to totally ignore them when they’re asking for help or complaining.
But how do keep one eye everywhere? It’s not like you’ve got a magical piece of technology that can filter for keywords and…. hey – that could work.
- Set up a Google Alert. It’s a quick way to watch for mentions on the web about your company name, product name, and other keywords.
- Watch Twitter searches. You’ll often find customers talking to you through their Tweets as well as linking to other sites where you’re mentioned.
- Buy a monitoring tool. Something like Mention gives you real-time alerts for your keywords on the web, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
What other ways do you keep up with people talking about your company online?