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Social Media Lessons From The Video To Costa Coffee

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There are often lessons we can learn from others regarding the use of Social Media. Perhaps it’s mistakes they make or how they deal with and moderate feedback from customers and clients. It’s important to remember that Social Media is only one part of your business and shouldn’t be run separately and that the same level of customer service you would deliver to customers face to face, should also be delivered to customers who comment on your posts.

You may have recently seen the video posted on Facebook which made comments about the difference in sizes of a regular and large coffee in Costa Coffee https://www.facebook.com/paul.hopkinson1/videos/10153373487021881/

Allegedly, after a customer posted on their Facebook wall, the post was deleted.  Now it may be that the post was viewed as negative customer feedback or didn’t give a glowing review of the products and that’s why it was deleted.  However, I don’t believe that, except for a few instances where language or opinion may be viewed as offensive, you should necessarily delete posts from your wall.  If the post has been made with genuine intent, for instance, the customer is querying your product or service or making an observation or valid point, it is more than likely that there are many other customers who have had a similar question or thought and your response will apply to all of them. One of the advantages of Social Media is the accessibility customers have to you and vice-versa.

If a customer posts a valid point or question on your Facebook wall, it’s as important to answer it as it would be if you’d been asked face-to-face.  The customer has taken the time to engage with you, shown an interest in what you do or sell and thought about what they want to ask.  Responding to them in a timely manner is crucial to maintaining excellent customer service and the image of your business.  It’s also important to consider what you can learn as a business or do differently if feedback you receive via Social Media is slightly negative.  For instance, I often see comments via social media which ask a question ‘How can I contact you, there doesn’t appear to be an email address?’ or ‘I can’t find out what your delivery options are’. Comments similar to these should be viewed as an opportunity to improve and do things differently within your business so that you’re responding to customer needs and what your market wants. Although not every single comment you see will require a response, it’s important to recognise and respond to those which can ultimately offer value to your business, whether that’s through improvement in Customer Care, Marketing or Processes.

In the Costa scenario, it seems that by allegedly deleting the post, they have missed an opportunity to educate and inform their customers about a valid point being made and have instead encouraged more negative feedback. When Facebook posts are deleted, people are aware the post has been deleted and this can impact on your overall brand and image. As businesses, we don’t just slam the shop door when a customer asks a question, we welcome them, engage with them and see what we can learn from them and this needs to be within Social Media too.

It’s also important within your business to ensure that you have adequate procedures and processes in place for responding to customer enquiries which come via Social Media.  People have an expectation that their comments and questions are going to be answered in a timely manner and if they don’t receive a response, may look elsewhere.  Depending on the size of your business, it’s vital that there are procedures in place which enable you, or your Social Media Director/Manager to be able to filter down information to all staff across all branches.  If, for instance, in the Costa post, over 7 million people viewed it, it’s highly likely that a customer will also walk into one of their café’s and ask the same question – having your staff be aware of the situation and the company response to it will go a long way to protecting and maintaining your brand.

 

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