Social media monitoring is a critical component of social CRM (customer relationship management). Monitoring gives social media communications professionals the opportunity to build relationships and boost marketing endeavors through authentic individual and group interactions via social platforms. This process consists of of two main tasks performed simultaneously and continuously: Listening and Responding.
Listening allows a brand’s social media team to gather and analyze customer feedback for positive and negative sentiment indicators, and then to strategize for improvement. Some of these strategies may need to be implemented immediately, while others can be applied future campaigns.
Responding affords the ability to quickly and efficiently address negative feedback from audience members. This not only builds a better rapport through excellent customer service, but it also minimizes the escalation, spread, and damage to a brand’s reputation which is made more vulnerable through the powerful communication of social networks.
Sincerely and effectively responding to customers doesn’t just quell irritation, but it also provides a brand the opportunity to shine! Fellow mass communication graduate student, and hospitality industry social media manager, Samantha Rosen, states in her blog: “When you are responding to a review, you are not only responding to the individual who wrote the comment, but also the hundreds of potential guests who are reading the reviews. Responses are just as much marketing, [as] taking out an ad in a business publication.”
Keeping this in mind, our task in Social Media Ethics this week is to share our responses to two negative feedback posts created by our professor, Justin Kings.
1) A Displeased Customer Posts to a Hotel:
“I am disgusted about the state of your restaurant on 1467 Justin Kings Way. Empty tables weren’t cleared and full of remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”
The Hotel’s Response:
Hello [Displeased Customer’s Name], I am so sorry to hear you had a negative experience while visiting our Justin Kings Way location. Please know that, here at [The Hotel’s Name], we pride ourselves on our commitment to your satisfaction, and that includes cleanliness of our facilities. I have forwarded your concern to our restaurant manager at that location to address your concern with his team. We deeply appreciate your feedback, because it helps us to continuously improve the quality of our service! Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. My name is Angela, and you can reach me via email at: _____________.
2) An Irate Listener Posts to a Mainstream News Network:
“Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your air time to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.” (Let us assume the reporting was balanced, with equal time to both sides.)
Hello, (Irate Listener’s Name), I am very sorry to hear that you are unhappy with last night’s broadcast. I understand you have strong feelings about this issue because it is so important to you, and it is important to us too. I want to reassure you that we, here at [New Network’s Name], pride ourselves on equally presenting differing viewpoints to the best of our ability. To help you further, I am including links to our guests’ websites for further information. Thank you for listening and for sharing your opinion with us. We appreciate you!
In both cases, my goal was to be kind, empathetic, and helpful while taking the opportunity to highlight the things my organizations do well. This human approach to social media monitoring and communications offers brands the opportunity to build relationships and, as a result, increase brand equity.