Providing mediocre customer service has never been a marketing tactic that has proved successful for any business. It’s common sense that if you treat your customer’s poorly, they won’t come back. Before the digital age, angry customers would bad-mouth you to their families, friends, and neighbors, and that’s where it would end. Now, it only takes a single PR disaster or one bad customer experience to send your business into a downward spiral.

Negative reviews can travel across the globe.

With one bad experience, regardless of who is in the wrong, your customers can logon to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to criticize your brand. Not only will all their friends see the social media posts, but any added hashtags will flow into the digital realm for all to view. The only thing that spreads faster than fire are tweets, and negative PR can be disastrous for you.

Why does this matter? Someone from Tokyo can give your business in Florida a one-star rating on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Thousands of negative comments can flood your website, and your email could be bombarded with distasteful remarks. This could all occur before you even get your side of the story out there.

Recovery is hard.

There’s an adage that all publicity is good publicity, but that’s not the case anymore. Your brand will be in the limelight, whether the negative reviews are true or not, and few will pay attention to the outcome. Social media users can become judge, jury, and executioner in a matter of hours. Without prompt action on your part, all that will linger is a bad taste in your audience’s mouth.

In most cases, angry customers that are in the wrong will be judged accordingly once the truth comes out, but the problem remains yours. It is up to you to prove the virtue of your business and market the positives of your brand even more. In other situations, where you are at fault, recovery can take months, if not years. The customer doesn’t care about your product or service if they don’t trust or like you.

Poor customer service is how businesses lose billions of dollars.

Your only saving grace, to prevent against the harsh criticism of social media, is to provide good customer service. Good service tells your customers that they are appreciated, which boosts loyalty and improves your bottom line. And realize that even if no one complains on social media platforms about a poor experience, your business can still be damaged. Social media works in your favor to the extent that you are at least visible. Poor customer service can drive customers away. They’ll never become a part of your Instagram campaigns; they won’t provide you with a rating on Facebook. They’ll disappear quietly, which is oftentimes as harmful as receiving negative feedback. When 50% of consumers encounter a problem but don’t complain, you never have the chance to correct a mistake.

Build a connection.

Engagement is key, in person and on social media. Your business is no longer being compared to direct competitors, but to customer service across the board. How do you provide a better experience regardless of industry? Emotional connections are essential, and they can provide many returns in the wake of a PR mistake. If you have spent time building trust, your business is more likely to recover if bad news hits your feed. You’ll also receive constructive feedback from loyal customers, letting you know when you’ve excelled in the eyes of your customers and when you’ve missed the mark.

The internet never forgets, and social media can make or break your success as a business. Be mindful that negativity spreads faster than positivity, and you must work twice as hard to get noticed for an amazing customer experience. This is where good marketing strategies are essential in promoting not just your product or service, but who you are as a brand. Brand identity counts, which is critical when an angry customer hurls the power of social media at your door.

Looking for a way to make your social media presence work for you? Give us a call.