Monday, February 27, 2012

Negative Online Comments, Posts, and Rants: What Can a Retailer Do?

Think of your Facebook page the same way you’d think of your physical store. Just as you wouldn’t allow a customer to shout at you in the middle of an aisle, so you shouldn’t let a customer dominate your online properties.

To wit: The retailer has done everything right thus far: responding publicly to criticism demonstrates transparency and a willingness to engage your critics are two of the cardinal virtues in social media. Yet at a certain point, letting a single individual or issue dominate the discussion damages your brand.

For example, if a customer continues complaining on the same thread, remains civil, and is raising legitimate points, then by all means engage her. But if she becomes obnoxious or takes to a different thread, consider the following actions:

1. Remind the customer of your policies regarding comments.

2. Suggest continuing the conversation via phone or e-mail.

3. Publicly offer some sort of compensation.

The bottom line: it behooves you to keep your forums clean and inviting.

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