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Avoid the Twitter Shame of British Airways

By Abbie Drew
Sep 10, 2013

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This week British Airways took a serious hit when a disgruntled
customer, Hasan Syed, spent $1000 on tweets to complain about
their service.

British Airways failed to quickly resolve a lost luggage situation
for Hasan Syed. On Monday he began a promoted tweets ad
campaign
about his poor experience. The negative campaign
went viral and British Airways was indeed shamed.

In the end Hasan Syed got back the missing luggage, his goal.
However, British Airways, certainly lost him as a customer and
may have lost many other potential customers as well.

Online Reviews Matter!

The new 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey found that 79%
of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal
recommendations.

What's more the Consumer Review Survey study found that
consumers form their opinions faster based on reading fewer
reviews than previously. Just a few good or poor reviews
can have an impact!

Additionally, a research report by Maritz Research found 75% of
those surveyed said they believe review sites provide generally
fair overviews on businesses.

Encourage Good Reviews

The Consumer Review Survey reports that 85% of consumers say
that they read online reviews.

Respondents who read online reviews say that positive online
reviews influence their buying decisions.

How do you get good reviews from your customers?

1) Ask for Reviews

If you have a presence on an online review site, email customers
asking them to review your business there.

If you offer reviews on your own site, email customers asking
them to share their story about their purchase on your site.

* You should request all feedback (not just positive).

* Do not offer incentives for good reviews. These will appear
disingenuous as well as violate terms of many review sites.

* Make your request sooner rather than later. A candid email
request for a review about 3 days after purchase works well.

2) Provide Good Service

A Dimensional research study found that 95% share bad
experiences and 87% share good experiences with others.

The keys to good service are the old standbys - fast and friendly.

The Dimensional study noted these factors effect a customer's
experience:

* 69% said fast resolution of the problem

* 65% said pleasant person handling the issue

* 63% said dealing with only one representative on the issue

Getting the exact outcome the person wanted when first
contacting customer service was the least important.

How do you handle negative reviews?

1) Respond

Don't ignore negative feedback. When a customer complains to
you directly or complains publicly as Hasan Syed did with
British Airways - you must reply back.

2) Immediate

As soon as you learn of a customer's bad experience reach out to
the individual. If needed, apologize and fix the issue promptly.

Just this week, I made a mistake with a customer. The customer
was upset and contacted me. I called him back right away and
we came to a solution that worked for him.

3) Private

Try to resolve the issue for the customer in a private manner
rather than publicly. If the customer complains in social
media, to respond in the same media can put your company
on the defensive.

Rather address the customer directly and fix the problem.
More often than not the customer will then post back
on social media that the issue was resolved.

Even Hasan Syed, ended his tweets noting the issue was
resolved:

He tweeted:

I got what I wanted. I win.
12:56 AM - 4 Sep 2013

If the customer does not provide an update once the situation
is rectified, then provide your own comment explaining the
steps that were taken to improve the situation.

No business likes bad reviews, however, there is a silver lining
if you handle them properly. When you make things right for the
customer you often keep the customer. Data shows that nearly
50% of customers who complain will remain loyal to your
organization if you resolve the issue they encountered.

---

Make getting good reviews and handling negative reviews
promptly part of your business strategy and you'll improve your
credibility and your bottom line.



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