Damage Control: Recovering from a Social Media Horror Story

Posted: 04/24/2011

Social media advocates never relent in pointing out the value of establishing your brand’s presence, but the reverse side of the coin reveals the host of customer management challenges associated with public, open dialogue about your organization. Disgruntled customers now have a boundless arena for expressing dissatisfaction with your brand, and while a proactive social CRM strategy might help you prevent most complaints from going viral, what happens when your team fails or, worse yet, when your company is actually in the wrong? Social media excels in vividly portraying the good, and the bad, of your organization, and you cannot celebrate your customer management strategy until you develop an effective game plan for mitigating the harm of negative social exposure:

  • Analyze existing call center and social media data to determine demographic reaction to your product and pinpoint the "at risk" customers
  • Align your brand with existing market influencers to gain powerful advocates in curbing ill-sentiment
  • Track follow-up conversations about your products to understand how the market reacts to your customer service issues
  • Improve transparency with business production units to understand potential brand hazards before customers identify the problems
  • Develop an incentive structure to promote favorable forward-relationships with customers even if specific incidents cannot be remedied