There is a new form of customer service faux pas doing the rounds, and it comes in the form of the Social Media snub.
The old school and still very prominent Snub is in my book one of the worst customer service crimes and can offend a customer in many ways, take a look at the examples below:
– To avoid dealing with you, the receptionist ignores your presence and picks up the phone before you reach the counter
– The bartender who serves the people around you without even acknowledging your existence
– Or the team members who are so engrossed in their conversation with their workmates they don’t even realise you are there.
A snub shows blatant disrespect and is the most significant way to lose customers, resulting in them bad-mouthing you, and sending them directly to your competitors without you ever having the chance to win them back or apologise.
The Snub is even more prominently online and is even worse in this form as there is no hiding from it. The disrespect you dish out here is in public, and that can hurt a customer and you much more.
The problem is that it can be so easily done. With so many companies engaging in Social Media without a solid plan, strategy or system, it is quite easy for posts to slip through the net, or remain unanswered for long periods.
So what is a Social Media snub?
When a post is not answered on a social media site, while the page still responds to other questions, adds promotional posts or interacts with other users.
A social snub is worse than those detailed above as it is public, people can see that you have been snubbed and that hurts.
There is no mistaking it. With some of the examples above the age-old excuse of “Sorry sir, I didn’t see you there” can be used. The same can’t be applied to Social Media.
Other posts are being answered, which in all terms and purposes makes the customer feel that they are not as important as others.
All of the above can have a hugely detrimental effect on your brand, not just from the person you snubbed but also from all of the other people who may now not post due to other posts on your page not being responded to.
6 Ways to avoid the Snub:
-Just answer the question
– If you cannot answer it just say
-Empower your followers to answer the question
-Acknowledge the post and say you will find out the answer soon
-Say you cannot answer the question but give them the details of the person who can
-Ask them to Direct Message you with their details and get someone to call them who can help them
Falling into the trap of thinking that Social Media is a cheap form of Marketing or for SEO purposes may mean you are taking the eye off of the ball and alienating customers in the process. All of this reinforces the need for a defined Social Media strategy for businesses of all sizes. Work out a schedule and allocate team members to deal with posts, questions and complaints, as well as engage in conversations with your audience and post interactive content. But make sure you respond to every customer, every time!