When you start engaging your consumer through social media, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of feedback that comes your way. Your consumers are all individuals with their own individual opinions, and while what they say definitely does matter, it’s up to you to judge when that feedback should be acted on and when it needs to be debated or even (gasp) ignored.
I’ve managed the social media presence of a large company with a very vocal consumer base and I can tell you from experience that although it’s important to listen to the consumer and value their participation in the conversation, you also have to realize that you may know your business better than they do – and that’s OK.
Because you’re supposed to. It’s YOUR business. If you DON’T know more than the average consumer of your product or service, it’s time for you to start studying. The key is being open and listening while exercising judgement. When you recieve feedback from a consumer, positive or negative, ask yourself these questions:
1. Is this an idea/issue I’m working on? If so, and you’ve been hearing the same feedback a lot, it might be time to open up the curtains a little bit and talk about that process.
2. Where is this coming from? Is it well written? Well thought out? Before you worry that someone’s complaint will ruin your rep in the social space, consider these things. The outlandish rants of a lunatic, however profanity-laden, do not a ruination make. In all likelihood anyone with a legitimate gripe who is reasonable will at least discuss the matter with you in private before plastering it all over the internet.
3. Is this person coming from a place of knowledge? If not, maybe you can educate them. In fact, maybe you should.
Is customer feedback important? Yes. Should they be heard? Yes. Should they determine the future of your company?
That’s up to YOU.
After all, it’s your business.