Using Social Media to Turn Frowns (of Customers) Upside Down

The blog of Directions marketing agency (Neenah, Wisconsin) has an interesting tale about a company that turned a customer’s negative blog reaction to its product into a ringing endorsement through engagement and sincere customer service. (My holiday favor to you: The company makes toilet seats and I won’t even attempt one pun on the matter.) Read about the exchange here and take heed of the lessons learned:

1) To paraphrase David, this is how social media is supposed to work and this is how a business that really cares about its customers and product reputation is supposed to interact with today’s consumers.

2) Reaction to negative postings should be swift, honest, transparent and never defensive. Your demeanor and words should convey that you simply want to get to the bottom of the situation and that in the interim you want to make the customer whole.

3) Even a few years ago, an unhappy customer such as David might have picked up the phone and called the toll-free customer service hotline. Or he might have just complained loudly to friends and acquaintances. In today’s world, the Internet is where complaints go to be aired, amplified and live on forever. You can’t react if you aren’t actively listening in the first place.

4) Viral can be a positive or negative force. Commenting on the outcome, a Realtor in Utah posted the following: “This is a company that knows exactly what the new age media is all about. Hats off to Bemis for knowing a bad situation can be handled in such a way as to make a loyal customer for life.”