People are going to talk. That’s why it is crucial to the success of your food brand to have a presence on social media and be responsive and listen to your customers. Good customer service on social media is crucial in growing your food brand into a credible and trusted brand. Whether it’s a crisis (like the Cinnamon Toast Crunch shrimp tail fiasco) or just a complaint, responding to negative comments on social media is a must to maintain a positive image. There is much to consider when responding to negativity on your social media platforms, as incorrectly answering can cause an issue in the public’s eyes.
To Respond or to Not Respond
This is a trick question. You should ALWAYS respond to customer comments and feedback. According to Convince and Convert, “Answering a social media complaint increases customer advocacy by as much as 25%”. When not to respond? It’s best to not respond to comments from people who are intentionally leaving offensive comments to gain attention. This happens more than you would think, as the era of internet communication has left people bored and desiring attention the ability to hide behind a screen. These people are only looking for a reaction, and you should not give them one.
Always respond to customer complaints and concerns. We even have an article on whether or not you should automate responses to these messages. You can find that article here.
How to Craft a Response
Now that you’ve figured out that you need to respond to a comment, one must consider how to respond. First, ask yourself: Is this a complaint? A compliment? an online bully? Responses must be appropriate to the type of comment. Compliments do not have to have a reply, but they build a positive image when a company actively engages and cares about the opinions of its customers. It also draws attention to positive comments as well. If you’ve found yourself with a complaint of some kind, here are the steps to take:
- Offer help
- Could you provide a contact for them to reach?
It is best to keep these responses short and sweet on your social media, and you can go more in-depth when talking to them personally. An example of this could be: “We are sorry to hear about an issue with your product. Our team is dedicated to helping you solve this problem. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
This response is short and straightforward but reassures the customer that you see them and want to help.
If the comment is from someone who wants to bully or is an internet troll, it is best not to engage with the comment whatsoever. Instead, it is essential to keep the attention on the company and its customer service.
What Customer Service can do for You
Responding to your customers lets them know that you are looking out for their best interest and care about what they are thinking. Comments that go unresolved can leave the public feeling you are a company that is not credible, and that is hiding something. It is easy to avoid these kinds of thoughts from the public if you respond quickly and clearly. The public wants to know that there is nothing to hide and that the company considers all comments from the public. This ensures that you are a credible and honest company. In addition, by drawing attention to positive words and responding to potential issues, you create a stronger image in the public’s eyes and assure them you are open and honest.
If you have any questions about customer service on social media, please reach out to the NewPoint team. Also, if you are interested in more food brand marketing topics, please visit our Food for Thought page or check out NewPoint’s Patrick Nycz’s book: Moving Your Brand Up the Food Chain.