21 July 2008

They're Talking About You! Now What?

So, then. You've done your homework. You've listened. You know what social media isn't and you're ready to dive in. You're paying attention.

And lo and behold - they're talking about you! And as GI Joe reminded us, knowing is half the battle.

But Now What??

Prepare for Action
First, be sure you have the tools in place for great content and conversation. Do you have:
  • A great website or blog to send people to for information and valuable, relevant and timely content?
  • An easy way for people to contact you? Think multiple channels like phone, email, and instant messaging. Or extend your ears and try Twitter or Plurk.
  • Excitement, an open mind, and enthusiasm for what social media can do for you? If you're not enjoying the interaction people will know.
  • Resources at the ready to answer questions, troubleshoot, or provide additional information to your community?
Got all those things and then some? Great. Let's talk about what you're hearing, and a few thoughts on how to engage. And please, add your own! Comment. Argue with me. Point out what I've missed! I want to learn from you, too.

The Good
There's nothing more gratifying than to hear that you're doing a great job. Your customers and clients are delighted, and they'd recommend you to anyone needing what you offer. How to respond?
  • Say thank you. Post a blog comment, send an email, drop a personal handwritten note.
  • Ask for more details about their experience, and how they found you. Find out what they liked best, and commit to doing more of it.
  • Hand over your contact information and make a personal connection. Offer to be a direct contact for them or offer up someone in your company that can take good care of them and make sure they continue to be happy.
  • Engage them as an insider. How can you get them connected to your company and encourage them to go from a happy customer to an evangelist?
The Bad
Uh oh. They're criticizing your product, trashing your customer service. What they're saying isn't at all what you'd hoped to hear. Ignoring it isn't the right answer, so where to start?
  • Apologize. Good old fashioned "I'm sorry we disappointed you" can be a great start to a constructive dialogue. Take the conversation to a more personal forum like email if that's what makes sense.
  • Ask what went wrong, and how it could have been a better experience for them.
  • If you have a solution at the ready, offer it. No solution yet? Explain what next steps you're going to take to come to a resolution. And follow up.
  • Don't be defensive. Nothing kills trust faster.
  • Be creative. What about having a negative reviewer be part of your next product innovation brainstorm? It's not for the faint of heart, but it can be a gold mine of new perspectives.
  • Say thank you. Just as important as when they say something nice. Thank them for sharing their experience, and caring enough to be angry. It's a great opportunity for you to learn.
** To note, negative comments are entirely different than hate mail, flames, or trolls. Those are best ignored altogether.

The Indifferent
This one is tricky. They're talking, but it's a solid "maybe" as to whether they'd do business with you again. They're not mad, but they're not overjoyed, either. Is it still worth interacting? I think so.
  • Ask them what would have taken their experience from so-so to great. You may just have an "a-ha" moment that makes you even better at what you do.
  • Invite them to continue the dialogue and share more detail. You've started the connection, and you can help it prosper.
  • Tell your story. "Eh" might just become "oh!".
  • Say thank you for their feedback. (Notice a theme here?)

Look who's talking!
I'd love to hear more about companies that are making the most of their online conversations. Let everyone know who deserves some kudos, and share your stories in the comments.

7 comments:

Sonny Gill said...

Nice post, Amber. Great points for those who are starting to 'get' social media but need those extra steps to understand how to create transparency within their online persona.

Doesn't matter whether what they're saying is good or bad, show your customers that they're actually talking to a real person and not a computer...either way, they'll appreciate it.

Beth Harte said...

Great job Amber! As your post illustrates perfectly, a thank you does wonders! [So does listening and communicating.] As well, saying thank you isn't just limited to the PR or Marketing department. ;-)

Frank Conrad Martin said...

Terrific post Amber! Take a look at what Starbucks is doing with http://www.mystarbucksidea.com - This company understands the importance of *listening* and responding to the conversation, so that it is two-way.

It's kind of like high school. Better to be talked about than ignored - but best to be a big part of the conversation! :-)

Tomboys said...

gunthy renker's customer service department needs to read this article.

Amber Naslund said...

@Sonny you know it. Transparency is a scary thing for some companies, but it is a powerful thing when it's done well.

@Beth Note I didn't specify who should be doing the thanking (or the listening for that matter). :)

@Frank Listening lets you learn and improve, period. And I applaud any company that truly makes the effort!

@Tomboys Let's hope they're listening then!

Kelly Rusk said...

Great post! I think the important thing to remember is any negative feedback can be turned into a big positive so long as the right course of action is taken.

In fact I would even argue that a good, positive "rebuttal" to a negative comment has more impact than a positive one.

Gavin Heaton said...

Hey Amber, this is a great post ... but you know what? It would be even better if you would turn it into a PDF and let people download and print it. That way, I could print out a nice copy and leave it on the desks of my colleagues ;)

21 July 2008

They're Talking About You! Now What?

So, then. You've done your homework. You've listened. You know what social media isn't and you're ready to dive in. You're paying attention.

And lo and behold - they're talking about you! And as GI Joe reminded us, knowing is half the battle.

But Now What??

Prepare for Action
First, be sure you have the tools in place for great content and conversation. Do you have:
  • A great website or blog to send people to for information and valuable, relevant and timely content?
  • An easy way for people to contact you? Think multiple channels like phone, email, and instant messaging. Or extend your ears and try Twitter or Plurk.
  • Excitement, an open mind, and enthusiasm for what social media can do for you? If you're not enjoying the interaction people will know.
  • Resources at the ready to answer questions, troubleshoot, or provide additional information to your community?
Got all those things and then some? Great. Let's talk about what you're hearing, and a few thoughts on how to engage. And please, add your own! Comment. Argue with me. Point out what I've missed! I want to learn from you, too.

The Good
There's nothing more gratifying than to hear that you're doing a great job. Your customers and clients are delighted, and they'd recommend you to anyone needing what you offer. How to respond?
  • Say thank you. Post a blog comment, send an email, drop a personal handwritten note.
  • Ask for more details about their experience, and how they found you. Find out what they liked best, and commit to doing more of it.
  • Hand over your contact information and make a personal connection. Offer to be a direct contact for them or offer up someone in your company that can take good care of them and make sure they continue to be happy.
  • Engage them as an insider. How can you get them connected to your company and encourage them to go from a happy customer to an evangelist?
The Bad
Uh oh. They're criticizing your product, trashing your customer service. What they're saying isn't at all what you'd hoped to hear. Ignoring it isn't the right answer, so where to start?
  • Apologize. Good old fashioned "I'm sorry we disappointed you" can be a great start to a constructive dialogue. Take the conversation to a more personal forum like email if that's what makes sense.
  • Ask what went wrong, and how it could have been a better experience for them.
  • If you have a solution at the ready, offer it. No solution yet? Explain what next steps you're going to take to come to a resolution. And follow up.
  • Don't be defensive. Nothing kills trust faster.
  • Be creative. What about having a negative reviewer be part of your next product innovation brainstorm? It's not for the faint of heart, but it can be a gold mine of new perspectives.
  • Say thank you. Just as important as when they say something nice. Thank them for sharing their experience, and caring enough to be angry. It's a great opportunity for you to learn.
** To note, negative comments are entirely different than hate mail, flames, or trolls. Those are best ignored altogether.

The Indifferent
This one is tricky. They're talking, but it's a solid "maybe" as to whether they'd do business with you again. They're not mad, but they're not overjoyed, either. Is it still worth interacting? I think so.
  • Ask them what would have taken their experience from so-so to great. You may just have an "a-ha" moment that makes you even better at what you do.
  • Invite them to continue the dialogue and share more detail. You've started the connection, and you can help it prosper.
  • Tell your story. "Eh" might just become "oh!".
  • Say thank you for their feedback. (Notice a theme here?)

Look who's talking!
I'd love to hear more about companies that are making the most of their online conversations. Let everyone know who deserves some kudos, and share your stories in the comments.

7 comments:

Sonny Gill said...

Nice post, Amber. Great points for those who are starting to 'get' social media but need those extra steps to understand how to create transparency within their online persona.

Doesn't matter whether what they're saying is good or bad, show your customers that they're actually talking to a real person and not a computer...either way, they'll appreciate it.

Beth Harte said...

Great job Amber! As your post illustrates perfectly, a thank you does wonders! [So does listening and communicating.] As well, saying thank you isn't just limited to the PR or Marketing department. ;-)

Frank Conrad Martin said...

Terrific post Amber! Take a look at what Starbucks is doing with http://www.mystarbucksidea.com - This company understands the importance of *listening* and responding to the conversation, so that it is two-way.

It's kind of like high school. Better to be talked about than ignored - but best to be a big part of the conversation! :-)

Tomboys said...

gunthy renker's customer service department needs to read this article.

Amber Naslund said...

@Sonny you know it. Transparency is a scary thing for some companies, but it is a powerful thing when it's done well.

@Beth Note I didn't specify who should be doing the thanking (or the listening for that matter). :)

@Frank Listening lets you learn and improve, period. And I applaud any company that truly makes the effort!

@Tomboys Let's hope they're listening then!

Kelly Rusk said...

Great post! I think the important thing to remember is any negative feedback can be turned into a big positive so long as the right course of action is taken.

In fact I would even argue that a good, positive "rebuttal" to a negative comment has more impact than a positive one.

Gavin Heaton said...

Hey Amber, this is a great post ... but you know what? It would be even better if you would turn it into a PDF and let people download and print it. That way, I could print out a nice copy and leave it on the desks of my colleagues ;)

21 July 2008

They're Talking About You! Now What?

So, then. You've done your homework. You've listened. You know what social media isn't and you're ready to dive in. You're paying attention.

And lo and behold - they're talking about you! And as GI Joe reminded us, knowing is half the battle.

But Now What??

Prepare for Action
First, be sure you have the tools in place for great content and conversation. Do you have:
  • A great website or blog to send people to for information and valuable, relevant and timely content?
  • An easy way for people to contact you? Think multiple channels like phone, email, and instant messaging. Or extend your ears and try Twitter or Plurk.
  • Excitement, an open mind, and enthusiasm for what social media can do for you? If you're not enjoying the interaction people will know.
  • Resources at the ready to answer questions, troubleshoot, or provide additional information to your community?
Got all those things and then some? Great. Let's talk about what you're hearing, and a few thoughts on how to engage. And please, add your own! Comment. Argue with me. Point out what I've missed! I want to learn from you, too.

The Good
There's nothing more gratifying than to hear that you're doing a great job. Your customers and clients are delighted, and they'd recommend you to anyone needing what you offer. How to respond?
  • Say thank you. Post a blog comment, send an email, drop a personal handwritten note.
  • Ask for more details about their experience, and how they found you. Find out what they liked best, and commit to doing more of it.
  • Hand over your contact information and make a personal connection. Offer to be a direct contact for them or offer up someone in your company that can take good care of them and make sure they continue to be happy.
  • Engage them as an insider. How can you get them connected to your company and encourage them to go from a happy customer to an evangelist?
The Bad
Uh oh. They're criticizing your product, trashing your customer service. What they're saying isn't at all what you'd hoped to hear. Ignoring it isn't the right answer, so where to start?
  • Apologize. Good old fashioned "I'm sorry we disappointed you" can be a great start to a constructive dialogue. Take the conversation to a more personal forum like email if that's what makes sense.
  • Ask what went wrong, and how it could have been a better experience for them.
  • If you have a solution at the ready, offer it. No solution yet? Explain what next steps you're going to take to come to a resolution. And follow up.
  • Don't be defensive. Nothing kills trust faster.
  • Be creative. What about having a negative reviewer be part of your next product innovation brainstorm? It's not for the faint of heart, but it can be a gold mine of new perspectives.
  • Say thank you. Just as important as when they say something nice. Thank them for sharing their experience, and caring enough to be angry. It's a great opportunity for you to learn.
** To note, negative comments are entirely different than hate mail, flames, or trolls. Those are best ignored altogether.

The Indifferent
This one is tricky. They're talking, but it's a solid "maybe" as to whether they'd do business with you again. They're not mad, but they're not overjoyed, either. Is it still worth interacting? I think so.
  • Ask them what would have taken their experience from so-so to great. You may just have an "a-ha" moment that makes you even better at what you do.
  • Invite them to continue the dialogue and share more detail. You've started the connection, and you can help it prosper.
  • Tell your story. "Eh" might just become "oh!".
  • Say thank you for their feedback. (Notice a theme here?)

Look who's talking!
I'd love to hear more about companies that are making the most of their online conversations. Let everyone know who deserves some kudos, and share your stories in the comments.

7 comments:

Sonny Gill said...

Nice post, Amber. Great points for those who are starting to 'get' social media but need those extra steps to understand how to create transparency within their online persona.

Doesn't matter whether what they're saying is good or bad, show your customers that they're actually talking to a real person and not a computer...either way, they'll appreciate it.

Beth Harte said...

Great job Amber! As your post illustrates perfectly, a thank you does wonders! [So does listening and communicating.] As well, saying thank you isn't just limited to the PR or Marketing department. ;-)

Frank Conrad Martin said...

Terrific post Amber! Take a look at what Starbucks is doing with http://www.mystarbucksidea.com - This company understands the importance of *listening* and responding to the conversation, so that it is two-way.

It's kind of like high school. Better to be talked about than ignored - but best to be a big part of the conversation! :-)

Tomboys said...

gunthy renker's customer service department needs to read this article.

Amber Naslund said...

@Sonny you know it. Transparency is a scary thing for some companies, but it is a powerful thing when it's done well.

@Beth Note I didn't specify who should be doing the thanking (or the listening for that matter). :)

@Frank Listening lets you learn and improve, period. And I applaud any company that truly makes the effort!

@Tomboys Let's hope they're listening then!

Kelly Rusk said...

Great post! I think the important thing to remember is any negative feedback can be turned into a big positive so long as the right course of action is taken.

In fact I would even argue that a good, positive "rebuttal" to a negative comment has more impact than a positive one.

Gavin Heaton said...

Hey Amber, this is a great post ... but you know what? It would be even better if you would turn it into a PDF and let people download and print it. That way, I could print out a nice copy and leave it on the desks of my colleagues ;)