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The fear of Facebook feedback

  • Opinion
  • August 19, 2015
  • Mat Wylie
The fear of Facebook feedback

We see them every day – complaints on social media about bad products, terrible customer service or general bad business practices. In the States, Comcast is now known less for its internet services and more for the spectacularly bad service they provide – something that everyone knows about due to the copious number of negative comments on their Facebook page. More locally, big brands like Cadbury have to deal with negative comments being shared publicly each day, as customers take to Facebook to share every negative (and hopefully positive) feeling.

Complaints and negative reviews online have a nasty tendency to snowball. Popular Mount Eden restaurant Molten discovered that all too well when a customer gave a negative review on a review site, which was then responded to by a staff member who felt their comments were unfounded. Another prominent restaurateur then got involved, lambasting review sites as being “parasitic” to the hospitality industry.

Without an easily accessible feedback platform, customers who have a negative experience will take to social media; which is mobile, available and extremely responsive. It’s also difficult to control. The public forum social media presents means that one negative comment puts your brand’s reputation on the line. Your customers know this, and they know they are likely to get a response if they complain about their experiences publicly.

Responding to feedback quickly via social media is vital, as it shows your proactivity and takes the fuel away from the fire. However, if it gets to the point that customers are complaining, the damage has already been done.

The challenge is getting customers to engage directly, in a way that will allow you to manage their feedback and experiences. We developed Customer Radar out of a desire to create a feedback platform that’s in front of the customer while they are in your store or restaurant, or soon afterwards. This allows businesses to offer their customers an easy way to give feedback, while giving business owners access to their feedback in a constructive and useful format. It also increases the chance for owners to diffuse negative customer feedback and avoid similar social media blowouts in the future.

Exposing your brand to complaints may seem counter-intuitive, but even the most successful businesses receive flack. Rather than shying away from comments or reviews, offering easy platforms for customers to offer feedback, and embracing and reacting to their comments will allow your brand to flourish. Given that almost one in three Kiwis is frustrated with the way companies deal with customer complaints, there is huge potential to win these people over by being better at dealing with complaints.

Managing customer feedback is key to retention. Attracting new customers helps your business to grow, but existing customers keep your business running, so it’s important to keep them happy. As a business owner, dealing with criticism is never pleasant, but it’s vital to your reputation that you do so in an efficient, effective manner. After all, who wants their brand publicly shamed?

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Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

The $200 million-plus direct sales economy contains many lessons retailers can use. As part of a wider look at this thriving corner of retail, we created a quick explainer showing how this business model typically works.

Read more
 
 

Direct sales: Meet the upliners

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the upliners

We profiled different participants in the direct sales industry to find out what retailers can learn from them. Meet Isagenix distributors Adam Nesbitt and Bianca Bathurst.

Read more
 
 

Direct sales: Meet the business builder

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the business builder

As part of a wider story looking at what retailers can learn from the direct sales industry, we profiled Isagenix distributor Ben Frost.

Read more
 

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  • Opinion
  • April 18, 2019
  • David Farrell
A spectrum of retailers

In recognition of April being Autism Awareness Month, retail commentator Dave Farrell considers the role of those on the spectrum in retail.

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How on-trend is your retail business?

  • Sponsored Content
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sponsored content
How on-trend is your retail business?

New insights from Visa highlight five evolving trends emerging from savvy retailers around the world. We’ve taken these global trends and looked at how they are playing out with merchants in New Zealand, and we’d now like to hear what you think of them.

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