Social media has changed the landscape of customer service and corporate communication, not least by making it very much more public. Social networks also tend to have made the process of communicating with customers and clients more transparent and this means that more than ever it is important to get the way and the order in which you do things right.
Silence is not golden
In our ever more connected world, people don’t like silence. Our grandparents might have been OK to send a letter off to a business with a complain or comments and been satisfied to wait a few days or a week or so for a response. Our parents might have been OK with waiting on the phone for half an hour or more to speak to a customer service representative. But now we expect immediate responses and this has shortened the time that companies have to play with.
Communicate THEN do
If you find yourself with an issue to deal with and it is in on – or might find it’s way on – to social networks, it is not good enough to work diligently in the background to fix the problem. No one knows that is what you are doing and as far as your followers and fans are concerned it is as good as doing nothing. Unlike the magician who disappears behind a curtain or into a box and the audience knows there is frantic activity taking place, if you do not tell people you are fixing a problem, they will assume you are doing nothing.
Obviously if you can fix the problem instantly or fix it whilst communicating what you are doing, then great. But if you have to do one thing first, communication will tend to take less time and buy you the time to work on the problem you have. So the rule is: communicate first, then fix the problem.
Just make sure that having communicated, you do actually then fix the problem…