What do you do when a donor leaves a negative review on Facebook, Yelp or Twitter? Do you just chalk it up to one whiny person, ignore it, bury your annoyance and move on? If so, you’re missing an opportunity.
You can turn unhappy campers into loyal, repeat campers. Research shows that when customers are treated with respect and generosity, they become not only happy but brand loyal. In Replies Can Change Customer Minds the neuromarketing author Roger Dooley notes:
We’ve always known it’s a lot less expensive to retain an existing supporter than to acquire a new one. Salvaging complaining donors, therefore, is a worthwhile investment. In addition, when people are turned around – and then let others know about your proactive response to them – this serves as positive public relations. If you handle complaints well, constituents (and potential constituents) will no doubt be impressed.
If you ignore the problem, it’s likely to multiply. Through social channels, lots of people will see what transpired. If you handle complaints poorly, and the complaint is re-published, re-tweeted, shared, liked or +1′ed, then the potential for hundreds, if not thousands of people to see the unresolved complaint if left unaddressed is pretty significant. Research conducted by Conversocial and NYU revealed that a third of consumers who had attempted to communicate with companies via social networking sites found they were ignored; an astounding 88% said they’d be less likely to do business with a company that ignored their complaint.
Responding to complaints can turn lemons into lemonade according to another recent study targeting Twitter users:
The customer is always right. In person. Online. Wherever. With the ascension of online complaining, customers have the opportunity to influence greater numbers than ever before. Need I say Susan Komen?! A recent post by Jeff Brooks talks about how this can work against us; it can also work for us. We must strive to be flawsome – honest, generous, empathic and most of all, human. Turn your detractors around, and you’ll draw many more into the fold.