Don’t panic! A negative Facebook comment on your dealership’s website is your chance to make a great impression on the public, and to salvage a customer relationship.
Good basic rules to follow are to stay calm, remain polite, and only delete offending comments as a last resort. Even if you can’t solve every customer’s problem, you can at least show the Facebook community that you put every effort into rectifying the customers’ issues and, most of all, that you care.
By following these five steps, you can turn an angry customer into a voice of praise for your dealership.
1. Apologize sincerely
As with most negative feedback you receive on any channel, the first step is to apologize. Don’t ignore unwanted comments, and make sure to be sincere in your apology.
This is a great opportunity to show you care about your reputation and your customers, even after they’ve left the showroom.
2. Offer a solution
See how you can help. If you are unsure how, ask customers how they believe you can rectify the situation. This first and foremost shows that you are willing to take the necessary steps to solve any problems.
Make sure to notify your managers and the sales staff of any issues brought up by customers. They may be able to help, or have had a good relationship with the customers that can still be salvaged.
3. Message privately
Sometimes, especially if a customer is still irrationally upset after the first two steps are taken, the best idea is to move the conversation to a private channel like Facebook Messenger. Not only does this allow you more room to speak, it shows that you care enough to add a personal touch.
By doing this, you are reaching out to unhappy customers privately, which allows you to be more open with one another. Often, customers will be more honest about their experience in a Facebook message because they can see you’re making a genuine effort to help.
4. After the resolution
Is the customer happy? Great! See if the now-happy client will remove the negative posts. There’s a good chance that a satisfied customer will be happy to do so.
If the customer does not remove the posts, simply add a positive comment to the end of the public thread. Thank the customer for understanding, and mention that you are glad the situation has been rectified. This allows you to tell the public that the problem was fixed and the customer is now happy, even if the original negative post remains.
5. When all else fails
What should you do with customers who are still irate and blasting your Facebook page? If they’re cursing at, harassing, or threatening you, or making racist, sexist, or any other blatantly offensive statements, by all means delete their comments, and ban the offending party after you’ve tried to resolve the problem.
You and your dealership have no reason to put up with abusive, unreasonable behavior. Any customers reading these posts will notice that you tried to reason with the irate client. But most of all, keep in mind that no one deserves that sort of treatment, and there is no reasoning with that sort of behavior.
Hilary Cairns is a freelance writer from New York. A social media marketer for a car dealership, she has worked in business writing for the past five years, covering everything from interviews to website copy to public relations. To see how she can help your dealership’s online reputation grow, send her an email at [email protected] or check out her website, www.hilarycairns.com.
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