Your startup is out of the gate and you’ve joined the ranks of several social media portals. You post and tweet good stuff about your product and company, the response has been good. Then one morning, insert the sound of screeching brakes here, you log into one of your accounts and see a complaint posted by someone. It’s been up for hours just laying there smoldering on your page, and it has certainly been seen. No one commented to defend your startup, but three people took the time to click, “like.” You cringe at what has been said about your company. This isn’t the end of the world, in fact it’s a golden opportunity to show how you treat unhappy customers to the world, and create a loyal customer in the process.
What to Do First
Read the complaint. Really read it and drop your defenses, so you can fully absorb what the other person is saying. An unhappy customer experience may point out a weak area in your startup that you are now being given the opportunity to correct early on. The majority of customer complaints emanate from the customer simply not having their expectations met. Commonly, this can be through a perceived promise, not being clear about what the transaction entailed, or something was said or done by an employee that brought their interaction with your company down.
Post back to the person. Thank them for contacting your page. State you are sorry to hear about their experience, and you want to get more details. Give them someone to direct to contact. Then, follow up until the matter is resolved.
Don’t Delete Legit Complaints
Unfortunately the Internet can bring out the worst in some people. The cloak of anonymity can lead to trolls posting on your page occasionally. Obviously, don’t feed the trolls. When a complaint is posted by a real person with a real issue you need to act. If your company dropped the ball, own it. If the expectation of the customer was within reason, give that to them. Thank the person for pointing it out, and offer them a relevant perk for bringing it to your attention. Then use that experience, so you can make doing business with your company an even better experience for others.
There is no perfect, foolproof system. As long there are humans in businesses, there will be communication failures and balls are going to get dropped. The way you build loyalty is to use those times to show your resolve to always make it right to your customers. If you show you’re willing to own mistakes, you’re willing to implement changes when necessary, and hold up your guarantee of service, it will remove roadblocks for doing further business with your startup by eliminating that, “What if something goes wrong?” fear customers can have.
Remember, complaints are opportunities for forward evolution of your startup. One complaint may be speaking for other customers who chose not to complain about an issue, and simply went to a competitor. Ask for candid feedback from your customers on a regular basis, and look closely at changes that may need to happen from within. Your outcome will be a stronger startup with a product and service your competitors cannot compete with. If you’d like more tips and advice to keep your startup ahead of the pack, sign up for your free newsletter today. We keep our finger on the pulse of latest trends in marketing to share with our subscribers.