Facebook is the worlds largest social networking site with hundreds of millions of people signing in each and every day. That is why it simply is a must for you and your business. With Fan pages, it’s so easy to get your business seen and a place to interact with your audience. But only if you use it right. Get your customer service wrong on Facebook and you can guarantee you will feel the backlash, not only by the customer but the rest of the watching world. Here are just a few examples of how you should never use Facebook, particularly under a business profile page.
1- Nestle – Bad Customer Interaction
In 2010, Nestle came under scrutiny for their less than desirable communication over their Facebook page. They implied that customers did not have the right to say what they honestly thought of their products and were even rude when users showed displeasure at the brand. They were brash, childish and portrayed a “God Complex” which is something no business should ever do and certainly not on such a public platform:
Lessons To Learn:
Regardless of your mood, regardless of how annoying someone is being on your page, you must always behave like the adult and never rise to the bait. If someone is unhappy, say that you are sorry they feel that way, ask them if there’s anything you can do to change their mind, offer them help but what ever you do, do not tell them what they can and can not say. They have every right to think what they like and express themselves, whether it’s in kind or not. Just make sure you react accordingly and use it to be constructive, “I’m sorry you think that, we would love to hear your thoughts on how it could have been different ”. Above all else, never belittle them on your page in public, you will ruin your reputation, maybe even beyond repair. It’s simply not professional.
2- Pizza Hut – The Silly Mistake
The problem with social media is that it’s controlled by humans and we are prone to making the odd mistake. One such mistake PizzaHut made was not filtering their feeds and not capping the Facebook questions they ask. Not as bad as being rude to customers like Nestle were proven to do but bad enough that it lead to people adding abuse on their pages for everyone to see. This is an honest mistake, it’s so easy to forget that one thing like closing off answer adding but this mishap got them in the news and people were talking about it, some even agreeing with the statements that were made. That’s right, they used Facebooks “Ask A Question” feature, left it so people could add their own answers and got a nasty shock:
Lessons To Learn:
Although not a massive faux pas, all businesses should be aware that they risk being ridiculed if they allow people to add their own questions to these features. By no means I am saying censorship is the way to go but remember, when someone answers a question on Facebook, all their friends can then see the question and can answer too and so it spirals so you may be seen by someone who doesn’t rate your company much. Anything that you can interact with your audience is fantastic, just be sure that you have control over the topics at all times.
3- It’s Not What You Say, It’s What You Don’t Say
1&1 is a server company based in Europe. This year, their servers have been unreliable, crashing, ruining businesses online presence, after all, websites can’t work if the server is broken! Their European “Dedicated” servers went down for a hours recently and 1&1 didn’t tweet, didn’t update their blog, didn’t Facebook. In fact, when their customers turned to 1&1′s Facebook page for answers, they were met with complete silence. That’s right, a product they were paying thousands for crashes and dies and the business behind it said nothing, not a word for two hours. Talk about bad customer service!
Quite understandably, their Facebook page went crazy with complaints but then something weird happened. These complaining messages were allegedly being deleted by 1&1! So, 1&1 had the time to scan through their page and remove anything that may reflect badly upon them but not to give any answers or update their customers on news of a fix for their servers? Oh dear, that cost them greatly and many people migrated over to new server companies.
Lessons To Learn:
If you and your business have made a mistake, or something has broken and it’s effecting your customers, you must, and I mean MUST, always be on hand immediately to update them with news, keep them settled and confident that you will fix the problem. Leaving them hanging will create a tension and a bad reputation. Deleting comments but not answering them will only serve in infuriate your audience and this is something you should always avoid doing.
Key Take Away
The most important thing to remember is that you must always be professional and that means being courteous, polite, sympathetic and approachable. Being hard, high and mighty and rude will get you no where and may even break you. Making mistakes is fine, we are all human after all and Pizza Hut made an honest mistake, but always be sure to be on the ball to rectify it as soon as possible. Maybe your mum was right, “treat others how you yourself would like to be treated”. You would be disgusted if a company mistreated you, make sure you don’t do it to other.
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~Nestle Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/phdinparenting