Always listen to customer complaints directly, before you hear about them remotely
Perhaps the biggest reason why many reputations come under fire from negative reviews is because the author felt they had no other way to be heard. Perhaps the manager was not available. Maybe the customer service rep didn’t respond to their email. Or, the social media help team simply couldn’t, well, help.
When unhappy customers feel they have not received attention or achieved a satisfactory resolution, they head to their favorite online destination to vent and warn others. They want your attention, but they also want restitution.
Instead of waiting for a tweet, comment, review, or blog post, make sure you have your own, direct channel for customers to voice their concerns. If you run a hair salon, place a sign on the counter with the owner’s cell phone for any issues. If you lead a software company, send an email asking a customer to reach out should they ever have a concern. And, if you have a social media help or support account, then for the love of pete, empower your employees to actually help and resolve any issues!
Just like a funny looking mole on our skin which we just ignore and hope it doesn’t amount to anything, you should not stick your head in the sand and ignore unhappy customers. Instead, take the lead. Take the initiative. Provide your customers a means to share their complaints directly with you.
Their complaints may not tickle your ears, but they will sound a lot louder if amplified by social media, Google, and word of mouth!