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Facebook: an invitation to a two-way conversation

As customer support enthusiasts, we naturally hope that all of our customers are happy ones. Wouldn’t it be great if everybody loved us, all the time? Unfortunately, those of us who live in the real world are occasionally going to receive customer complaints. When it happens, what’s important is not so much who’s right and who’s wrong, but how you handle it. You may not think that the customer’s complaint is valid, but that’s not the point – a skilful response can turn a disgruntled customer into a loyal one.These days, complaints are no longer private affairs. Customers have learned that sadly, if they send their complaint via email (or, for the real old-skoolers amongst you, via snail mail), they often don’t get a response. It’s all too easy for customer service reps to ignore or dismiss one lone voice crying in the wilderness. So customers are learning to take their unhappiness to Twitter or Facebook instead. Once they’re on social media, they’re suddenly the town criers, shouting their bugbears loud and clear in the middle of the city square - for everyone to hear. That means that the company’s response is out there for everyone to hear, too. Handle a situation badly and you may find that suddenly everyone’s talking about you, and not in a good way.

Facebook and DEL don't go together

Don’t ever delete a critical comment, no matter how tempting it may seem. Far from making the issue go away, you might end making the news (because, as US chain Applebee’s found out to their peril, the internet never forgets). While you may feel a sense of ownership over your Facebook page, it’s not a billboard – it’s an invitation to a two-way conversation. It’s important to engage with people who took the time to reach out to you, whether or not you like what they’re saying. In addition, research has shown that keeping the negative comments and responding appropriately helps to build your brand image. It makes you look more honest, trustworthy and reliable.

Acknowledge those social consumers

It’s not only complaints that warrant a fast response, of course. Simply acknowledging a consumer who takes the time to post a comment on your Facebook page goes a long way towards improving your brand image: it helps them to feel more involved. But it’s best to do it promptly: a recent study by Conversocial showed that the average social media customer service response took more than 11 hours, but more than 50% of customers these days expect to receive a response in under two hours. That’s where Casengo’s new Facebook integration (being tested by our happiest customers right now) comes in. Instead of constantly checking the website to make sure you’re on top of things, you’ll soon be able to reply to questions, comments and complaints that come in from Facebook, straight from your Casengo inbox. We can’t make everybody love you, but we can certainly help.