Haters are the early warning detection system for your business.
Discerning brands strategically use social media as an extension of customer service, with skillfully prepared teams in place for unexpected online situations. Nobody likes loud, verbal haters. While it might be easier to not deal with online negativity, these situations need to be addressed in a timely manner.
While It is certainly easier to avoid them at all costs, the dark cloud haters cast might actually offer a silver lining. Haters are the customers who take the time to complain, and let us know where brands fell short in their eyes. Their intentions may vary, but there are increasing numbers of online haters, and they are louder than ever. Meanwhile, rest assured that these situations are a spectator sport for more people than you would care to realize if it is your brand under attack. The onlookers are as important to satisfy as the haters because all eyes on the situation should be considered potential customers.
Whether the response is positive, negative or no response- it will define the brand. A shrewd responder will assess the agenda of the hater: Some haters want an answer; others simply want an audience. If left unattended, their volume and wrath escalate… offering competitors the open door to swoop in to gain positive marketing for themselves.
Social Media is Customer Service
It is important to realize that haters are the ones who are passionate enough to speak up about problems, allowing brands the opportunity to up their game. If they care enough to take the time to give feedback, that means they care. The silent dissatisfied ones are more threatening to a business because they simply move on- to a competitor. For this very reason it is important to act on the opportunity that haters create. Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters, is the hater-whisperer. Baer dissects the topic in great depth in his book with the mantra that “They are not the problem. Ignoring them is.” Think about it this way: The ones who care enough to complain are handing you a blueprint for how to fix what might be ailing your business.
Complaints might be wisely viewed as massively valuable, free information that can be a catalyst for excellence.
Zappos impressively sets the bar for customer service. They swiftly respond to both positive and negative customer engagement and resolve issues efficiently. To Zappos customer service, marketing, and social media are equal opportunities to honor their customers. Their success stories travel far and wide across social media channels, initiated by the customers themselves. That in itself is the goal of social media.
Their customer focus is not that the customer is always right. They put the customer first, showcasing the customer. By doing that, they enable their customers to take their business to the next level. It’s all about an intensely focussed customer identity. Well done, Zappos.
Social Media is an Extension of Customer Service. Does your brand take this seriously?