Building, maintaining and protecting your brand online
This article is part of our What We Learnt Spending $1 Million On Paid Ads Over 30 Days series. Check out the others HERE.
Think of all the feedback your brand receives from your online activity: the likes, the reviews and the comments. Everything from glowing praise to scathing criticism. It’s all out there, in the open, for all to see.
This is the stuff that all future buyers will consume ahead of making any sort of purchasing decision. As you might expect, all of this can heavily influence what they end up doing. It could be the reason they go with your product, or it could be the reason they don’t.
Think about it. Nowadays, everything is reviewed and rated, from the quality of service at a restaurant to whether a budget video camera is good value for money. Your product or service is no different. And so building, maintaining and protecting your brand online is critically important.
The better your reviews, the greater the trust. We know this from experience – for good and bad.
Learning The Hard Way
Let’s cast our minds back to May 2020. We were flying high. We were selling, scaling and, all things considered – a small matter of a pandemic turning everything inside out, upside down – generally feeling pretty good about ourselves.
Then, we hit a pothole. Normally, we’d pull over, change the tire, and get on with things. No big deal.
What would usually be a small issue almost turned into a write-off
But as we were scaling so much, and funneling so much traffic to our site, what would usually be a small issue almost turned into a write-off. So, what happened?
When customers sign up to Viddyoze, we send them their log in details via email. Like a lot of things, these sometimes end up in the spam folder. Usually, this isn’t much of an issue. We might get two or three emails a day about it. All easily handled by our customer service team.
Unfortunately, as our sales grew, so did this issue. Pretty soon, we had hundreds of these coming through. Our customer service team were overwhelmed – and emails went unanswered for days. Customers weren’t happy.
And where did they vent? You guessed it, Facebook.
Dealing With Comments
A bad comment can make or break a Facebook ad. Think about it. If someone’s unhappy with your product or your service, the ad is the perfect forum to seek help or complain.
You always need to be ready to react. A good response to a negative comment can work in your favor. And all negative comments warrant a reply.
A polite, professional and sincere response is the only way forward
A polite, professional and sincere response is the only way forward. It not only diffuses the situation, but it also shows any future potential customer that you will deal with their issues promptly.
When we launch an ad, we monitor it over the course of its lifetime. That way, we’re ready to respond to anyone. For a genuine issue with the service, the process is generally the same: respond professionally with the facts and never argue. And never delete a valid comment, either. Most people are just looking for help and support, and Facebook is often the most intuitive way for them to get in touch.
The key is staying on top of things. Remember, a really negative comment left to fester can completely tank an ad and hurt your brand. And you don’t want that.
Acting On The Good
After our little customer service fumble, our ratings on Facebook and Trust Pilot took a bit of a beating. Facebook dropped to 2, while on Trustpilot it was just under 3 (both out of 5).
Facebook takes its customer rating score very seriously. Drop down to 2, and you’re penalized financially. Drop down to 1, and you can completely lose your ability to advertise on the platform. Longer term, however, your credibility is on the line. Just like bad comments, bad reviews can be terminal for a digital business.
We expanded our customer service team rapidly
First, we sorted out the issue that was causing our customers a headache. We expanded our customer service team rapidly, got through the backlog of grievances, and set up a process to ensure that it never happened again.
It worked a treat. Our ratings soared back up to their normally high levels and we’ve never had a problem like it since. And don’t just take our word for it. Head over to Trustpilot right now and you can see for yourself.
It was hard work getting things right again, but, to state the obvious, it was necessary. We’re a customer-centric business, after all, and committed to nurturing meaningful relationships with our customers over the long-term.
Beware Of The Trolls
There’s a big difference between a genuine negative comment – for example, a dissatisfied customer – and a troll trying to get a reaction. In those instances, we don’t hesitate to hit the delete button.
When it gets personal, there’s no point engaging
Here’s a good example. Many of our video ads feature our co-founder, Joey. Now, if someone leaves a comment because they’ve had a bad experience with Viddyoze, we respond and try to resolve the solution. However, if it’s clearly just abuse, then we just remove the comments.
When it gets personal, there’s no point engaging. That’s what these people want. If you want to respond to the haters, then do it in style – like Joey did in the video below
The Moral Of The Story
Stay on top of things. Hold your hands up when you make a mistake. And act swiftly, professionally and honestly when things aren’t going the way they should be. You’ll lose some customers along the way, but that’s inevitable. Don’t sweat it too much because, so long as you fix things, you’ll save a lot more. When good customer service meets a good product or service, well, why would you want to go away?