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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

7 Tips for Dealing With Upset Facebook Fans - or any other digital "fan"

7 Tips for Dealing With Upset Facebook Fans

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Published August 30, 2011 Printer-Friendly

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What do you do when you’ve just received a less-than-complimentary Facebook wall post from someone who likes your business (or used to, so it seems)?

The customer could have a simple complaint, or be so upset he’s gone on the offensive, making sure you and the rest of your community knows he’s angry.

Your next steps are key to retaining not only the business of the angry customer, but the business of other fans who like your page as well.

#1: Respond no matter what

It’s vitally important that the complaints and issues your fans pose on your wall are addressed. Inactivity on your part will appear as though you’re trying to ignore the issue and sweep it under the rug. Being unresponsive does nothing more than incite more anger and increase the chance the user will come back with even more angry wall posts.

Moreover, your community can see that angry post. If you don’t reply, it appears as though you are unconcerned with customer support, which can be detrimental to your reputation.

A response that illustrates respect and understanding for customers’ concerns will indicate your intention to rectify any problems. By addressing this upset fan, Newegg is demonstrating that they value their fans’ opinions—even the negative ones.

Newegg

An upset fan who promises to shop Newegg less frequently still receives prompt, respectful customer service.

#2: Be patient and understanding

In dealing with upset fans, you must remember that you are closer to your industry, products and services than they are. What may seem like basic, common knowledge to you is often foreign to the end user.

Take a step back and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. This can go a long way in understanding why he or she is frustrated. It may not be your company’s fault that the customer is upset.

Whether or not the fault lies on your end, a simple apology will go a long way in keeping the customer’s business. Instead of trying to figure out where the blame lies, turn upset fans into loyal customers by making their experience better.

#3: Contact the Customer Privately

Sending a private message or email to the customer opens up more options for you to address his or her complaints. The goal here is to extend some sort of token letting the customer know you’re sorry he or she is dissatisfied with your company, and you’re willing to make it right. Whether that’s offering the number of the manager’s direct phone line or a discount off the next purchase, moving the conversation from public to private allows you to give the customer a personal touch that signals you care.

However, offering things like direct lines and special discounts publicly can lead to other people creating problems just to get that special treatment, so it’s best to keep these practices off the wall.

While Hayneedle’s customer shown below isn’t visibly upset about the damaged order, Hayneedle handles the situation perfectly, and contacts the customer privately to resolve the issue.

hayneedle

Hayneedle moves conversation with a customer from the Facebook wall to private messages to better help the customer.

#4: Consider asking the fan to remove the post

Say you’ve discussed the issue privately, any problems have been straightened out, and the faultfinder is, once again, your happy customer.

While your wall is an integral part of your web presence, the customer may be unaware of how important it really is to your reputation. If he or she is satisfied with the resolution you’ve reached and grateful for the time you’ve spent making things right, there’s nothing wrong with privately asking the person to remove the post. Most of the time, he or she will remove the angry wall post.

#5: Respond back to the original post

As a general rule, you, the Facebook page admin, should not remove negative posts. Not everyone is going to have a glowing review of your product or company. Social media users know this, and if they see nothing but positive comments, they’ll assume your company is deleting the bad comments.

If you don’t feel comfortable asking your customer to remove the post, you do have the option of publicly responding back to that post. Express happiness in the resolution you’ve reached and thankfulness for her business. Even a negative post can be a good thing, as long as the last comment is positive. Your reputation among your community will soar when they see how well you take care of your customers.

Zappos is shown below addressing a negative comment. The helpful attitude effectively nullifies any poor reflection on Zappos or their services.

zappos

Zappos responds quickly with understanding and a desire to create a better experience for their upset fan.

#6: Let your community respond

Letting your community respond for you is really the end result of all the earlier steps. It requires copious time, energy and patience with your fans, and a fantastic product. After you’ve engaged with your fans for a period of time by answering questions and offering support, you’ll notice that your fans will be more active on your page, even to the point of assisting each other.

What’s great about getting this community support is that there’s a genuine credibility when fans endorse your business for you. They become your eager virtual support agents, answering questions and solving problems before you have a chance to. But this is a level you can only achieve if you’ve nurtured and supported your community.

The Pampered Chef has built a fantastic online community of users who love the product so much, and who have been given such great support themselves, peers will answer each other’s questions before The Pampered Chef has to respond.

pampered chef

An outpouring of community support is the direct result of The Pampered Chef's top-notch customer service.

#7: The Last Resort

If the offended party is unreceptive to your customer service attempts, blatantly hostile and only active in your community to start arguments, banning the individual is a last-resort option. And anyone leveling expletives or racial slurs against your staff or fans should be banned. Your staff and your fans don’t deserve to be subjected to the abuse, and in the end, they will respect you more because you took the initiative.

What’s been your experience? How has your business handled complaints from upset fans on your Facebook wall in the past? What has worked? What hasn’t? Leave your comments in the box below.

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I was in Wichita recently giving a presentation on digital strategies. I had two folks approach me after the session to get advice on dealing with negative online comments. I had 4 or 5 of these but all 7 are good and to the point.

Posted via email from Randy's Stuff

Monday, August 29, 2011

Apple is working on new TV for 2012

Concept illustration showing what an Apple television might look like

Apple is almost certainly working on a digital television based on its iOS operating system, according to multiple sources in Silicon Valley.

An Apple-based television makes sense in light of Apple’s continued expansion out of the computer industry into the larger consumer electronics market. But is it real?

Multiple reports, as well as sources interviewed by VentureBeat, support the rumor, which is widespread among the gadget industry.

  • Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, a longtime Apple analyst, predicts that Apple will produce a television in  late 2012 or early 2013. In an interview with VentureBeat, Munster cited multiple sources, including component suppliers as well as an internal Apple source, to back up his theory. Munster predicts this will be an actual TV, not just a set-top box, and most likely running a version of iOS. (Note: Munster made a similar claim in 2009, except then he said that Apple would have a TV by 2011. He now says “I think the probability is almost zero that it will be this year.”)
  • Venture capitalist Stewart Alsop, of Alsop Louie ventures, lent credence to the “iTelevision” theory in an interview with VentureBeat. Alsop sits on the boards of TiVo and Sonos, follows the hardware industry closely, and says he has heard from multiple sources throughout Silicon Valley that the Apple television project is underway.
  • The Wall Street Journal mentioned that Apple is “working on new technology to deliver video to televisions, and has been discussing whether to try to launch a subscription TV service,” according to “sources familiar with the matter.” That’s typically code for an inside source.
  • And Cult of Mac notes that the time may be ripe for Apple to make a television, as high-end TVs have started to dip below the $1,000 price threshold.
  • Even former Apple CEO Steve Jobs turned the wheels of the rumor mill in 2010, saying that it made sense for Apple to integrate its technology into television sets.

Apple has been testing the waters with its AppleTV, a set-top box that provides access to movies and TV from iTunes as well as other online video content. The company has a number of partnerships with movie studios and television networks, giving it an impressive content library. And its lightweight iOS operating system seems ideally suited for consumer devices (the OS is already under the hood in AppleTV).

Alsop figures the only thing holding Apple back is the cost of LCD screens, which has been a limiting factor in all of Apple’s iOS products since 2007.

The company initially planned to make a tablet when it started planning a touchscreen-centric computer in the mid-2000s. But, Alsop says, the cost of the display was prohibitively expensive, so Apple instead focused on applying the technology to a device with a smaller, cheaper LCD: The iPhone.

The price of LCD panels has droped fairly steadily, thanks to increased manufacturing efficiency, so eventually quality screens became cheap enough to make the 9.7-inch iPad economically feasible.

It won’t be long, Alsop predicts, before 15-inch or 19-inch touchscreen televisions running iOS hit the scene, probably in time for the 2012 holiday season. That’s big enough to be a serviceable TV for the kitchen, bedroom or dorm room.

More importantly, iOS will enable Apple to transform the television into something that doesn’t just show videos, but also plays games, runs apps, lets you check your schedule and tweet about what YouTube movie you happen to watching at that moment.

And it could tie seamlessly into other Apple devices, like the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air, giving the company an enviable full-circle consumer product line. The vision might look something like what Corning, the makers of Gorilla Glass (widely believed to be the glass used for the face of the iPhone and iPad), predicted in a promotional video it published in February, below.

“You look at TVs in Best Buy and they’re the same damn things that they’ve been building for 30, 40, 50 years,” said Alsop. Although the display technology has changed and the screens are flat and high-resolution now instead of huge, low-res cathode screens, the fundamental act of watching TV is pretty much the same: Sit back and flip the channels.

“Apple will do to television manufacturers what it did to phone makers with the iPhone,” Alsop said.

Illustration: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat

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An interesting question here is will a new Apple TV change the way people use television similar to the way Apple changed the way people use their cellphones. The ecosystem of the TV is quite entrenched (and profitable). There are clearly signs of some pressure on the traditional TV ad revenue pipeline, particularly on the national side. But with major sports and political spending still a reliable source of huge advertising pools of money, business continues to be healthy for TV (network and local).But if a new Apple TV changes the way people use TV, well then it's game on.

Posted via email from Randy's Stuff

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rod Stewart

OK, no snickering. Went to Rod Stewart concert in Vegas....he was awesome. No kidding.

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Sent from Randy's iPhone

Posted via email from Randy's Stuff