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The squeaky wheels of Facebook

June 3, 2013

future of customer service

A reporter called me last week to talk about Facebook. Specifically, how a company can stand out by responding to customers online.

The Montgomery Advertiser ran the story Sunday with the headline, “Reshaping service: Local businesses, customers look to online comments, reviews on Facebook.”

We talked at length about how companies fare on Facebook, depending on their products and services but also on how they fulfill customers’ needs.

Allow me to go into detail, beyond what was covered in the article.

No matter the size of your company, Facebook fans and customers will perceive its “humanness” based on how it operates its page. It can be done with great care and love, or it can be done mechanically. Or in many cases, it has already been abandoned.

Customer complaints are nothing new, but companies that ignore them tend to be viewed negatively. The attempt to address those problems is important. No company can solve every single issue raised by customers, but the ones who make a good faith effort to respond to the most common or most important concerns can stand out.

One basic need we have is to be heard. Some companies ignore critical feedback, or even worse, delete it outright. What a missed opportunity to at least acknowledge a customer has taken time to write out a complaint.

Those businesses that take the next step, acting on feedback, are rare indeed. It is not easy to change or to fix problems within an organization. It could take an unknown amount of time and resources.

However, the companies that solve their customers’ problems are likely to win them for life. Facebook provides a conduit into how people really see your products and services, faults and all.

Facebook also provides a way for companies to demonstrate how they’re listening to and acting upon consumer complaints.

As someone who has built, modified and run Facebook pages for brands, I know that the value in having this channel is to invite all feedback and use it wisely.

Photo: Dell (CC)

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