Customer Service

Here's a New Way to Deal With Angry Online Customers

Here's a New Way to Deal With Angry Online Customers
Image credit: Twitter | Flickr

We are living in a world of ever-increasing speed where businesses can’t help but become a little more transactional. With so many different ways for clients to reach us today, we have to be watching and listening to what seems like an endless number of channels for social and traditional communication. Because so many options are available to us, we, as businesses, are also able to explore customer service beyond the traditional phone call and online support.

While businesses have always had to deal with dissatisfied customers, the introduction of Internet, social media and mobile has completely changed the way they share their complaints. People no longer use private phone calls, letters or long emails to be heard. Instead, they broadcast your failure as a brand in big, bold letters all over the Internet -- be it a Facebook status, a forum thread or a blog post. This kind of sharing can cause immeasurable damage to a brand name. 

Related: Becoming Indispensable to Your Customers

It is important that we take immediate action to salvage these situations by listening to our dissatisfied customers and responding quickly to minimize negative PR.  Otherwise, negative talk could have a less than desirable impact on the reputation of a company, especially at a time when most consumers generally resort to “Googling” before buying anything.

We should also be paying attention to our community of brand supporters. But the question is: how do we get more personal with our message without making our jobs more difficult? 

Related: 3 Mistakes That Undermine Using Social Media for Customer Service

In the past, I have talked about "social listening" and some techniques to keep your eye on customer chatter. Businesses can utilize such tools at Hootsuite, SproutSocial and Buffer to help create a dialogue with consumers.

While these are great, there is now another option. This past month Twitter rolled out a new function for users which allows them to attach a quick 30-second video to a tweet. When I heard this, the first thing that came to my mind was: What if we used this for customer service?  What if instead of just responding to a customer, who supports our brand, we jump on and do a quick 30-second video where we (as a representative of our brand or business) smile, say hello and talk to our supporters? How powerful could that be? On the other side, what about the dissatisfied customer? What if we created a short personal video to show our support and understanding? The possibilities with these videos are immense and since they are visually more stimulating, they will have a longer lasting impact.

Videos have always had great success enticing customers because of their obvious appeal and ability to engage in a way that connects them to the human side of the brand. Just think how Amazon took customer support to a whole new level with Mayday. I believe every business has the ability to transform their customer service and show off the things that make their brand stand out. Video could be the perfect outlet for making this transformation take place. Video is powerful and for small business, it can be a great, low cost way to put ourselves face-to-face with our customers and to connect more intimately.

Related: 5-Star Customer Service Should Hurt a Little