4 Misconceptions About the Angry Social Media User
Have you ever been the victim of an angry customer that took to Facebook or Twitter to display hurtful, inaccurate comments about you or your company? If you have, you know the power of social media in the hands of an angry person. However, there are four misconceptions that many businesses have about these people and how to deal with them.
Misconception #1 — Ignore Them
Many companies think that if they ignore these angry people, they will just go away. But if you have ever seen how a controversial or negative topic can spread, you know this is usually not the case. In fact, when you compare the number of comments on a negative topic versus those on a positive or happy topic, you will see that the negative one receives much more attention.
Misconception #2 — Respond in Kind
When you do respond to an angry customer, you don’t want to appear to be upset or responding in an aggressive manner. Always be helpful and upbeat when creating a response. Don’t get emotional, but calmly state the issue that the customer is presenting so that they know you understand what they are saying. Present the facts of the situation and attempt to come up with a satisfactory solution. Other people are watching this interaction and will form an opinion of your company based on the situation.
Misconception #3 — There is No Solution
It may seem as if an angry customer is one that will not listen to reason. This can lead companies to the decision not to even try to converse with them, which is a wrong choice that can lead to even more negative views surrounding your organization. Many of those who post negative reviews or make angry comments regarding their interaction with your business just want you to acknowledge the situation. They may not even be looking for a solution if none is available; they just want an apology.
For instance, say a customer ends up with food poisoning from eating at a restaurant. They are well now, but their anger is still right at the surface. So, they go online and tell all of their friends about what happened. The restaurant can’t undo what happened, but it can issue an apology and offer to make things right. A coupon for a free meal might be a good idea, but the customer may be hesitant to go back to the place. At the very least, saying you’re sorry this happened will show that you recognize that their feelings are justified. Let them know how you plan to ensure this doesn’t happen again and thank them for bringing the issue to your attention.
Misconception #4 — It Will Never Go Away
You often hear that you can’t take back what is posted online. While this is true to a certain extent, you don’t have to accept that negative reviews or comments will always haunt you. You can ask the person to remove the post or review after you come to a resolution. If they are happy with the outcome, they may be willing to remove the negative comments. At the very least, they may post a new comment showing how you helped them with the problem they had. It never hurts to ask.
All organizations must accept the possibility of having to deal with angry customers online. Others are watching, which is why the way a business handles the situation is so important for future customer relationships. Avoid the common misconceptions that many companies have about angry customers to repair the damage and build new and stronger relationships.