Dear Brand Managers,
Let’s face it…engaging online isn’t always easy. Sometimes, things go wrong. Sometimes product updates don’t go as we plan. Sometimes there are issues. But, as with most things in life, honesty is the the best policy when it comes to communicating with your online community. If something goes wrong, let them know about it as early as possible. Communicate frequently with status updates about how you’re going to resolve the issue. Let your community know that you are:
1) aware of the problem; and
2) working to resolve it.
Just like in your face-to-face business transactions, engaging in open, transparent communication will help you build a strong, credible relationship with the customers you serve and will help build an affinity for your brand. Failing to communicate can not only make it look like you’re hiding something, but also send a message that you just don’t care.
No one is perfect, when something goes wrong don’t try to hide it or ignore it. Who knows, by engaging your online community, they might suggest a solution that you hadn’t thought of.
Have an experience (good or bad) with a brand communicating or failing to communicate about an issue? I’d love to hear about it in a comment!
Angus Whitton (@LuckytheLurcher)
Saturday 23rd of March 2013
It happens too often, the problem is that switching to a competitor does not always make it better.
The banks tell lies about their service and rates, air time providers tell lies about their 'coverage', mobile phone manufacturers tell lies about battery life, couriers tell lies about guaranteed next day delivery, utility suppliers tell lies about their pricing and bands.
Unless it's exceptionally bad - it's often a case of 'better the devil you know!"
Jessica Nunemaker from little Indiana
Wednesday 16th of May 2012
Our internet provider did not allow for the customers they received. After we kept having drop-offs and getting kicked off and unable to get back on, after numerous phone calls where we kept trouble-shooting...and spending HOURS total--we were FINALLY told by one customer service rep that the problem was just that there wasn't enough space for everyone.
As SOON as there is another option in our area we will dump them. They wasted my time--and kept charging me for high speed which I obviously wasn't getting. Not cool. Not cool at all.
I think it would have been nice if I had been told that there would be an issue beforehand so I could plan my writing/etc. accordingly. It would have been even nicer if there were some sort of small discount involved since they weren't meeting the needs of their customers!