Social Media Tips: Turning Negative Customers into Brand Evangelists

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Have you ever been on social media and you realize someone just hates your service or product? And they are voicing their discontent all over their social media sites? This my friends, is the best thing ever for your brand. I know, I know. This sounds crazy. But hear me out.

As I was thinking about how to approach this blog on negative comments on social media, it made me think of those movies where someone is resistant and first and then becomes a strong advocate for whatever the movie is about. You know the ones where there’s a main character that is adamant about not dating, accepting, or joining another group, people or process. Then by the end of the movie, they’re married, the new leader or advocating for the group. For instance, the movie Admission. The one where Tina Fey is an Admission counselor. If you haven’t seen it, Tina Fey was interested in hearing about this honky school in NH that Paul Rudd was from, and he was trying to get her to accept a boy that was super intelligent. Throughout the movie, Tina Fey does not accept that the boy is intelligent, always saying that she won’t accept him into the school. By the end of the movie, Tina Fey is advocating and even going behind the schools back to change the admission status. She became a brand advocate for the boy.

So, how does this relate to social media? Well, you have someone that is resistant to your brand. Or you have a person that is so pissed about a situation that was created by your brand. You hear them. You listen to them. You respond to them. You understand what’s wrong. You solve the problem. You give the customer some sort of apology. Possibly a discount, voucher. You are a hero. This is what Tina did. She became a hero in this genius boy’s life.

Now, that might sound simple. That might sound crazy. But it works. Changing someone’s attitude is extremely difficult, but if you can do it, then you have a loyal customer. The reason this customer was unhappy was because they had high expectations for your service or product. The person had already gone through all of the various stages of the Buying Decision Process.

Therefore, they chose your brand, over all other brands. How you handle them in their post purchase is up to you to make or break their brand loyalty. So, what should you do? That’s right. Make sure to continue to give excellent customer service, especially to the ones that really don’t like your brand.

Now, a few tips:
1.) Trolls vs. Upset Customers- Make sure you are dealing with an upset customer, not a troll. A troll is someone that hates life. Someone that always is complaining. NOTHING goes their way. These people have negative news feeds and no friends. Upset customers usually are positive with a large community.
2.) Time and Energy- Reach out to the customer about 2 times and try to deal with the problem. More than 2 times and still no resolution. Walk away. There is only so much you can do that is worth that person.
3.) Story time- As in most marketing, create a story about the upset customer. Understand why the customer is upset and create a story. It is possible that someone else with the same “story” will have a problem in the future. If you understand the person the first time and note it, then in the future you will already know who you are dealing with.
Remember negative customers are great customers!


18 thoughts on “Social Media Tips: Turning Negative Customers into Brand Evangelists

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