Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Study: Take your head out of the social-media sand, respond to negative comments

Before social media, your company or organization could lose, ignore or wish away that negative letter, email or phone call from a disgruntled customer or user. After all, they had few ways to broadcast it, aside from old-school word of mouth. Now that every consumer has multiple platforms for publishing her discontents, some organizations still fail to respond, choosing instead to ignore the comments, avoid answering questions or, in a signal that they don't have a strategy for social media, take the offending post down entirely or shut down the site.

But a new Harris Interactive survey of retail customers' attitudes shows that direct responses to consumers who complain on social media sites can reverse their negative feelings. From MediaPost's coverage:
68% of consumers who posted a complaint or negative review on a social networking or ratings/reviews site after a negative holiday shopping experience got a response from the retailer. Of those, 18% turned into loyal customers and bought more. By listening and proactively responding on the social web, says the report, retailers have a chance to turn disgruntled customers into social advocates. The survey found that, of those who received a reply in response to their negative review:
  • 33% turned around and posted a positive review.
  • 34% deleted their original negative review.
You'll have surprise on your side, as well: The survey shows that a majority of consumers don't expect they'll ever get a response to a negative comment posted online about a bad experience.

After the study, a case study: Here's a great example of deft handling of negative comments via the United Way of King County's hunger challenge campaign.

Clip to Evernote

Use the Evernote clip button, above, to save this post in an Evernote notebook. Subscribe to For Communications Directors, my free monthly newsletter, which features content before it appears here on the blog.

Use the Evernote clip button, above, to save this post in an Evernote notebook. Subscribe to For Communications Directors, my free monthly newsletter, which features content before it appears here on the blog.

No comments: