4 Fight back tips against your customers’ Social Media attack


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Once a quarter, Customer Relationship Metrics holds its Customer Insights to Action (CIA) meeting. The meetings are open to all of our business partners, are anonymous and offer a great platform for call center professionals to share their successes, challenges and questions related to customer experience, call center technology, call center agent training and best practices, social media, outsourcing, etc . One of the two topics in our most recent meeting was social media’s impact on the brand. (A similar topic from a recent blog post can be found here)

According to the 2008 Business in Social Media study, 60% of Americans used social media to interact with companies and there are many recent indications that this number is quickly rising. People are using social media for a variety of activities. Not only are they sharing content, news, ideas, but they are sharing their experiences. They are talking about your company and having conversations with others who have had experiences with your company too – the good, bad and ugly. When it comes to the companies people do business with, social media activities are fairly targeted and come with hefty expectations! When asked in a recent Customer Relationship Metrics Twitter poll: When would you be MORE likely to use twitter or other forms of social media to talk about your customer service experience? 67.86% responded that they would be more likely to use social media to talk about a negative service experience.

In another Twitter poll by a fellow blogger, Barry Dalton, customers indicated the following expectations in response to their complaints.

All of which made for a fairly easy conclusion. If your organization is not using social media, you are overlooking a key opportunity to interject a positive message about your brand!

In discussing social media with our business partners, we found that many either ignored or took a rather reactive approach to social media. And they are hardly the exception:

  • According to a report published by Manpower employer services, only 29% of companies in the Americas have a formal policy regarding employee use of social networking sites while at work.
  • According to a 2009 study conducted by Robert Half Technology, 54% of CIOs from companies with 100+ employees completely block employees from accessing social media sites.
  • That same study by Robert Half Technology reported that approximately half of CFOs surveyed indicated that their “greatest concern about employees’ use of social media was “wasting time on such sites during business hours.”

With so many customers using social media to expose negative experiences, businesses are sure to suffer if caught in the viral social media crossfire. It’s up to you to turn the tide. How can you be proactive when access is forbidden? Customer Relationship Metrics recommends using an organization’s call center as part of a proactive approach to minimize an organization’s social media risk. Here are four tips to proactively fight back against your customers Social Media attacks:

1. Encourage your employees to express themselves while educating them on appropriate limits and risks involved with social media.

2. Create a formal social media policy that embodies the aforementioned.

3. Encourage your agents to share their career accomplishments with their friends, family and followers using social media.

4. Nominate a different employee each month to update your company’s social media network about upgrades, improvements, awards won, employees recognized, etc.

How are you using social media to interact with your customers? How are you using it to protect your brand?

As a customer, which brands (besides Zappos) have you seen or had experience with that are using social media effectively and positively?

A few more best practices on using customer feedback to prevent social media warfare can be found here.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Carmit DiAndrea
Carmit DiAndrea is the Vice President of Research and Client Services for Customer Relationship Metrics. Prior to joining Metrics, Carmit served as the Vice President of Behavior Analytics at TPG Telemanagement, a leading provider of quality management services for Fortune 500 companies. While at TPG she assisted clients in measuring behaviors, and provided management services to assist in affecting change based on newly created intelligence.


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