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In business we frequently see a very reactive approach when it comes to customer complaints or comments.  If someone tweets something about a product problem you may tweet them back to try and resolve it on a singular level.  But shouldn’t you proactively tweet out a solution to your followers that may be experiencing the same issue but haven’t yet come to you with their comments?

Have you seen the proactive push versus the reaction to customer comments?  Think about the mega super store that had a typo in the discount of their weekly coupon.  They of course realized the mistake as soon as the coupon was printed in the paper because angry customers were calling the company’s call center to say that they were turned away.

Do damage control with those calling, of course, but it doesn’t end with instructing your agents about how to handle the affected callers.  Take the negative customer sentiment and be proactive with a strategy to generate positive sentiment.  Alert the frequent shoppers of the company with an email about the error, tweet about the issue and push the explanation and resolution out through social media channels.

Granted, it’s a fine line we all walk that balances sharing bad news too quickly and too broadly versus being transparent and telling everyone about how you messed up and effectively turning it into a business opportunity.  Customers do hear what we tell them:

“My child’s stroller was recalled today and since I had registered the product when I bought it I got a prompt email about the problem and a list of stores that carried the repair piece that I can pick up.”

“When I was researching what appliance to buy, I noticed some online comments of folks that had an issue with a particular brand. When I went to the brand’s web site they had a note about the product and that an update had been made to address the issue.  I’m really happy with the appliance I purchased from them and have had no issues.”

“My rep was so helpful when I just ordered a computer.  He asked me if I’d like to receive emails to keep me informed about the status of them making my computer and the shipping updates.  He said that I didn’t have to receive the emails but I wanted to keep tabs on this order.”

About Dr. Jodie Monger

Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics and a pioneer in voice of the customer research for the contact center industry. Before creating CRMetrics, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.

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