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Social media has become much more than a marketing tool. It can also be used for customer service. In fact, it should be.

An article on the Constant Contact blog got me to thinking about this. What emerged from the reading of this article is a realization of three very important customer service precepts for social media.

  1. Don’t delete negative feedback – The tendency for a lot of companies – and I do mean A LOT – is to either ignore or try to delete negative information about their companies. That’s a big no-no. Chances are, someone has already seen it, and if you delete it, then it will look like you are trying to cover it up. It’s best just to address the concerns brought up by the post and address it head on. Your reputation will survive.
  2. An apology goes a long way – If your company has been caught in the wrong, apologize. That will show people that you are taking responsibility. Making excuses will only dig your hole deeper. Say you’re sorry and move on.
  3. Look at bad publicity as an opportunity – Any attention your company gets is an opportunity. Once you’ve acknowledged your customer’s concerns, and you’ve apologized, offer a discount or freebie to make up for their bad experience. Do it out in the open. Make sure everyone can see it and that will show the world that you care about your customers and you care about doing the right thing.

The best reputation management you can give to yourself is to treat your customers like you care. Social media is a great platform for doing just that.

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