When people ask me how to promote their company, I tell them that they should be on Twitter. I then caution them that they should not use Twitter if they don’t know how to use it right. Your social media presence can easily lose sales for you and damage your reputation if you do it wrong.
Today @MangaUK did just that in a conversation with @NorthStarBlog. I had to take this screenshot because I was so blown away by what I saw:
It doesn’t matter what @NorthStarBlog was saying – it is never a good idea to get into a personal squabble with a reader or customer when you are representing a service-driven company. Have people said things to me that I disagree with or criticized me unfairly? Of course they have! I have never – not once – taken a rude tone with anyone. The “worst” I have ever said is, “I’m sorry you feel that way. What can we do to make it better?”
Why do I handle disputes gently? 9 times out of 10 a customer will realize that when you care about what they are saying, they should care about you and support you. This is Psychology 101. If you challenge them and start arguing it just makes the company look bad and inspires them to not buy from you even more. You’ll catch more flies with honey. You don’t like it when people are rude to you – they don’t like it when you are rude to them.
No customer will interpret negativity as “Wow these people really care about my business.” Negativity is interpreted as, “WTF jerk”. Back in the day, many people went out of their way to download Metallica’s albums even if they didn’t like Metallica because they thought they were jerks.
Positive conversation is the foundation of the customer-company relationship on social media. If you have something negative to say – imagine the outcome after you’ve said it. Will it make things better? Will it inspire people to buy from you or support you? Will it inspire people to not pay you and download things because you are a jerk?
The other reason gentle, positive conversation is better is because there is a margin for error. In the case above, apparently the person wasn’t even referring to @MangaUK:
At least @MangaUK apologized? Oh wait no he freaked out later on @NorthStarBlog in his Twitter stream on the guy and then:
I can answer the above question – There is a difference between gentle correction and being just plain rude. MangaUK was just plain rude here.
Then he unfollowed the @NorthStarBlog due to his use of profanity that was brought upon by @MangaUK’s rudeness. @MangaUK then seemed to be trying to get him to beg to be re-followed?
Manga and comics (my industry) isn’t essential for people to eat and sleep. In fact, it’s hard for many companies to stay in business because the economy is so bad. I hope that @MangaUK realizes how bad this makes his or her company look before they have no customers left.