Jihan Ouarti

Operational marketing project manager

Views and ideas

Some companies now see dissatisfied customers as an opportunity to show their expertise in customer relations.

Here are 5 keys to obtain or retain good e-reputation.

1. Do not let your customer grow impatient

As with requests made over the phone, a customer writing on a brand’s social media expects a quick response. Even if you cannot give a favourable response or a solution right away, at least you must let him know that his request is being taken care of, and that you’ll get back to him as soon as possible.

Standard average time limits are 4 hours on Facebook, and 2 hours on Twitter. Of course, if the message was posted right in the middle of the night, these time limits do not apply.

2. Make him laugh

It is a well-known fact that humour can defuse a crisis. Of course, it should to be used with caution. What makes you laugh won’t necessarily make everybody laugh.

A touch of humour can create favourable engagement towards the brand. Therefore it must be preferred over formal messages.

3. Show him that you really care

To avoid him from voicing his concerns in the public space, invite him to shift to private messaging. This will help him elaborate on his situation and he will feel valued. This will prevent the company from increasingly receiving unpleasant posts on products and/or services.

4. Pamper him

Try to settle the conflict amicably and stay away from formal processes. Show him that you don’t stick to predetermined rules. Customise your services and adapt them to your customers’ needs, especially when the company is at fault and must “make it up to” its customer to ensure his loyalty.

Take the example of “Save My Smartphone”:

“Save My Smartphone” is a start-up company promising its customers to “save” their digital devices as soon as possible. Except for one of its customers for whom the company failed to deliver: in addition to being delivered with a delay, it turns out that the product didn’t comply with the order.

This customer didn’t take it lying down: he informed the whole community and its 3000 subscribers about the situation.

The company got word of the posts and reacted promptly: “a customer representative called me in the course of the day. Then he personally showed up in the evening and offered a gift-voucher for a brand new mobile phone.”

5. Provide him with an actual solution

A satisfied customer will stop posting negative comments on the brand’s wall.

It is necessary that you do your best to provide him with a solution. Don’t tell him to call an umpteenth phone number, as it is likely to irritate him even more and tarnish your brand image.