The art of customer service is one that must follow current trends and evolve to the methods of popular opinion. Although you may steadfastly believe that all unhappy clients deserve to have their concerns dealt with face-to-face your refusal to engage online will lead to immediate negative assumptions and your honourable intentions will mean nothing. So, in the words of the estimable Winston Churchill, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” (Perhaps not a direct quote per se, or is it, hmmmmm?).
Life or Death Online
Whether we like it or not a company’s online presence has become a living, breathing part of its success or failure. A courier job that has displeased one customer whose review goes viral may cost you more than that one customer. How you handle negative online reviews can make or break you.
The Show Must Go On
As we all know it is easy for any courier job to go belly up despite all the planning in the world. Although most customers are fairly forgiving there is always one who will make any mistake as public as possible. These complaints, whether they are warranted or not, need to be dealt with swiftly and with great diplomacy. Engage the customer wherever they have posted their complaint, and take the opportunity to shine. A responsive and personable approach will win the approval of the on-lookers and will potentially gain you some customers.
Calming the Fire
Online consumer complaints can be a golden opportunity to go above and beyond a customer’s expectation. Satisfying the public’s sense of justice in the consumer’s world will win you a great reputation and an amount of free advertising by word-of-mouth that is priceless. Some complaints may test your limits. Internet users are essentially anonymous and that gives them a freedom to let loose, sometimes in language that would make your Granny blush. However, resist the urge to meet fire with fire. Be the calming influence and always take the high road.
Rules of the Game
If a courier job has gone wrong and resulted in some bad press here are a few ways of to deal with the fallout and turn a negative into a positive.
- Always respond with compassion and with a personable approach. Avoid sounding automated.
- Put a positive spin on this opportunity to solve a consumer’s problem.
- Offer a constructive solution.
- Take the conversation off-line as soon as possible and actively follow through with a resolution.
It is not possible to make everyone happy all the time, however a genuine effort to address problems, even if they cannot be fully resolved, will gain you both the attention and approval of the online world. The members of the Courier Exchange have years of collective experience to lean on in the event your company is facing a negative online review. Tread carefully and use the advice of others who have been-there-and-done-that and your chances for a positive outcome will increase.