I know what you’re thinking … “John has certainly lost his mind” – not really! In social media negative is positive!
Allow me to explain – A lot of companies fear Social Media because they have no control over all the elements involved in the process. “How can we stop customers from saying negative things about us?“- I hear this from a lot of companies when I try to encourage them to use social media in their marketing plans.
True – in social media you’re standing naked in front of the masses – but when you have nothing to hide, why should you be fearless. A company should invite negative feedback to better itself. When I ask a market research agency to conduct a brand awareness survey or a brand positioning survey – I’m always interested in the negative comments! It’s good practice to take the negative feedback and turn it into a positive opportunity.
The other day, I received a complaint from a customer about a bad experience he had in one of the SUBWAY stores in the UAE. This customer was furious – his email was very offensive – but let’s not forget he is king. As the Head of Marketing for SUBWAY in the Middle East & Africa region, I could have done three things – 1) ignore the complaint – after all he’s just one customer, 2) defer the complaint to a customer service rep – since it’s not my job to deal with customer complaints, or 3) pick up the phone and call the customer. I chose option number 3 – why? because I saw it as an opportunity to make the business better – and that’s exactly what I did – I changed an angry yet loyal customer to a content customer and potential vendor (it turns out he works for a big Ad Agency and wanted to pitch for the SUBWAY regional account).
Lesson Learned: Negative feedback is more valuable than positive feedback – after all, you know what you’re doing right and you should be interested in finding out what you’re doing wrong and improve on it.
Social Media presents you with that opportunity on a daily bases and it’s up to you how you’d want to deal with it. Think About it!