Responding to Viral Customers to Benefit your Brand


Today, customers have a stronger voice than ever thanks to the rise of social media. As more and more people adopt smartphones and grow accustomed to an always-connected lifestyle, responding quickly to consumers is critical for delivering exceptional customer care.

Consumers are getting tired of shopping the old-fashioned way, with more customers opting to buy things online than in-store. But, that’s not the only thing they’re doing more of online. Given the hectic pace of modern day life, consumers have had to adjust to new constraints on their time.

With less time to voice their complaints and share positive feedback using traditional communications methods such as letter, email, and phone, people are expecting customer care over social media.

According to J.D. Power and Associates’ study, 67% of consumers have used a brand’s social media site for servicing. This statistic not only reveals customers’ increased desire for human-to-human interaction, but it also indicates that growing numbers of people are turning to digital customer service channels to get answers to their questions, complain about products and services, comment about their in-store and online experiences and to share both positive and negative brand stories.

Even if the customer isn’t always right, brands that are able to respond quickly to viral customers on social media are less likely to severely damage their online reputations. They are also more likely to succeed in building brand loyalty because a quick response shows that they value their customers.

However, in order to respond to viral customers, brands need a comprehensive social listening strategy and process in place. Marketers who want to prepare their brands for the future of customer service and provide consumers with exceptional customer care, must implement social listening tools to monitor the non-stop customer comment deluge. In the fast-moving world of the web, brands that are empathetic and can communicate with customers in a friendly and authentic way are in a better position to solve problems.

That’s why it’s essential for marketers to become embedded in the conversations happening around their brands online. By having the proper response mechanisms and protocols in place, marketers are also able to better manage social issues and reduce the risk of further upsetting angry customers.

Successful brands will adapt to people’s connected lifestyles and integrate digital customer service channels into their overall marketing strategy.

Rather than ignoring people’s complaints on the web or limiting access to traditional customer service channels, marketers that want to gain a competitive edge will embrace social monitoring tools and other technologies to proactively manage social issues and address negative buzz before it goes viral.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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