Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

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In his latest contribution to Forbes, Paul Koulogeorge, VP of Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations at Goddard Systems, Inc., explores how marketing has become a more personal relationship with customers.

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What To Do With Negative Social Media Feedback

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

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Social media is a way for your clients and customers to communicate with you. But what happens when what they want to say is negative? Like, really negative?

The risk that comes with social media is that you can’t control what people say, and you can’t control who sees it. Maybe you delete or block negative users, but that can create a whole new type of blow back- why aren’t you facing the criticism? Blocking doesn’t equal solving the problem.

Instead of running from the problem, here’s hat to do with negative social media feedback.

Don’t Ignore Them

First things first; you can’t run from the negative feedback. You have to face the music. Try to understand what people are mad about; are they dissatisfied with your services? Do they feel like you mislead them about your experience? Are they mad at something you said in an interview?

Take the time to HEAR what they are saying, and see how you can address it. Maybe it’s something out of your hands, like USPS taking longer to deliver because of weather conditions. Or maybe it’s because of your attitude towards your customers. Feedback (even negative feedback) can be a great way to grow, but you first need to listen.

Take a Pause- But Don’t Wait Too Long

Small companies may have just one person who does all the work. Meaning you might be on deadline when you start getting a flood of negative comments for something else. You have to finish the work, but you can’t take too long to answer the comments, because things can get out of control easily.

However, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to respond when you feel heated yourself! No good comes from yelling back at someone yelling at you on the internet.

Read the comments, take some time to formulate your response, and then click ‘send’ when you’re calm and can stand behind what you’ve written. Saying something in the heat of the moment is bad business. Especially on the internet, where things never really die. Even if you delete your comment later, screenshots can easily be taken.

Be Ready to Admit Fault…Or to Stick To Your Guns

If you said or did something that was offensive, be ready to apologize. Step outside of your experience, understand that you hurt people, and apologize.

However, if the negative social media feedback is totally unwarranted, you can defend yourself! But remember that you don’t want to antogonize them further. Defend yourself by saying something like this: “I understand that you’re frustrated with delays, but once it’s mailed I no longer have direct control over it. I also can’t control the weather (I wish!) I’m happy to offer you free shipping off your next purchase!”

A response like this allows space for their frustrations, but also gently guides them away from blaming you. You also offer a perk to them, which is a good PR move. It says “I understand and I want to help you avoid feeling this again.”

Negative social media feedback is a part of our online world. But handling it gracefully is a way to keep your business running smoothly and your customers happy.

This article originally appeared in Due.

 

This article was written by Kara Perez from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

This Harvard Business Review blog article offered pearls of wisdom from Goddard Systems’ CEO, Joe Schumacher, on why midsize companies should set priorities and avoid procrastination. Read the full article here.

 

“Social media for the business generation is not ‘one size fits all.’ It is not the silver bullet, cure-all or magic elixir. It is, nevertheless, imperative to the livelihood of franchise brands.” – Ashley Betzendahl, Manager, Interactive Media, Goddard Systems, Inc.

Read Ashley’s full article in Franchising World.

Simple Strategies To Nurture Customer Loyalty

Thursday, December 29th, 2011
  • Treat customers as prospects.
  • Be unusual where usual is expected.
  • Offer proactive service.
  • Deliver friendly service.
  • Answer the phone and help in a memorable way.
  • Give something they’ll use and appreciate every day, and show to others.
  • Go beyond the expected.
  • Be fun, unusual and poignant.

 

Increasing satisfaction and minimizing problems are the ultimate goals in managing our relationships with customers. Use each customer encounter or point of contact as an opportunity to develop and build trust. Even problems and complaints can be used as a way to go above and beyond expectations in remedying the situation. It’s a good idea to create a system of recording customer interactions to help determine patterns not only in customer complaints, but in their preferences as well.

For example, many luxury hotels observe the choices guests select during their stay, such as extra towels, then extra towels are provided every time that customer visits. Upscale retailers tend to have personal shoppers who record preferences in colors, styles, brands and size so they can notify their client when new merchandise appears.

Adding a personal touch to your interactions with customers can go a long way. It doesn’t always have to be an up sell or business related. Simply paying compliments or asking specific questions about something that was discussed in a previous conversation helps to create that elusive customer loyalty.

Demonstrating Value

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

In general, consumers don’t want to be sold to. So although it can be tricky, it’s important to develop your skills at indirect or subtle selling techniques. Essentially this is figuring out ways to integrate your product or service into your conversation with customers without sounding like a pitch machine.

Asking open ended questions and listening to your customer will help you understand their needs so that you can offer solutions, provide education and share experiences with others you’ve helped with similar situations. It’s all about adding value and demonstrating your knowledge and expertise. In turn, you become the authority and “go to” resource for customers.

Since no one enjoys being directly sold to, subtle selling is the way to go. People want to know “what’s in it for me.” So you have to be able to show them the value in what you offer. Practice and finesse your technique by providing your customer with whatever education, engagement or entertainment they may need in order for you to more easily close the sale.

Employee Focus – Talent and Expectations

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

In order to maintain your customers and gain new customers, you have to attract and retain quality team members. It’s not magic, retaining the right people takes hard work and dedication. Be committed to work with your administrative team and make employee retention a priority.

Recruiting The Right People

  • Plan ahead: Identify the skills, abilities or talents needed to accomplish the work.
  • Develop a recruitment strategy: Determine which recruitment efforts work for you.
  • Provide orientation and training: Give your employees the tools and information necessary to do their jobs well. Provide new employees with mentors, training videos, etc.
  • Recognize employee contributions, talents and skills: Communicate each employee’s value to him or her orally or in writing. Show appreciation in formal and informal ways.
  • Celebrate and evaluate: Celebrate success! Incorporate an on-going review process to identify how you could improve processes incorporating everyone’s feedback.

    Management Expectations

    According to Andrew Rondeau’s article, Management Expectations, “Twenty-five percent of all staff members don’t know what their boss expects of them.” As a manager, you should communicate the behaviors you expect of your employees if you want to see an improvement in your team’s work effort. Communicate your management expectations and coach/mentor employees to help them become the best employees possible.

    Word of mouth is the most credible source of information about a product, aside from actual personal experience with a product.  What consumers tell each other about your product has a huge impact on your effort to recruit new customers.

    How can you control what people say about your product?  Encouraging customers to say nice things, and preventing them from slamming your product is hard – many marketers assume that doing so is impossible.  But you can influence word of mouth, and you must try to do so.  Following are some ideas for how to manage word of mouth communications about your product:

    • Make your product special.  A product that surprises people because of its unexpectedly good quality or service is special enough to talk about.
    • Do something noteworthy in the name of your product or company.  Support a not-for-profit organization in your neighborhood.  Stage a fun event for kids.  Let your employees take short sabbaticals to volunteer in community services.  All of these strategies have worked well in the past to generate positive publicity and word of mouth.  Get creative.  Think of something worthwhile — some way of helping improve your community that will make people surprised and happy about the good you’re doing in the name of your product.

    Source:  Marketing for Dummies, by Alexander Hiam, MBA

    What is CUSTOMER CARE?

    Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

    CUSTOMER CARE is the service your business provides, on a daily basis, which aligns with the needs of the customer.

    How do you and your employees care for your customers?  Try to list at least ten CUSTOMER CARE touch points that are important to your business.  Put your list in writing and take a good look at it.  Remember, referrals are a primary source of your business…are you optimizing your CUSTOMER CARE opportunities?

    We’ll help you get started…

    1. A warm welcome to customers every day.

    Now it’s your turn….