Insights from #FCMC – Immediacy is key

The 6th annual Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference produced by Franchise Update Media and took place in Atlanta, GA this past week.

As I attended the sessions and listened to the content presented by Franchise Marketers and industry experts, one central theme emerged – immediacy is key to success.

We live in a digital society where we need to embrace the always-on consumer. Today’s consumers are emailing, texting, posting, tweeting and sharing their feedback about virtually everything from their favorite brands, as well as their most positive and negative experiences with these brands.

How can Franchise Marketers embrace this phenomenon and keep their customers happy?

Don’t wait more than 24 hours to respond to a review

Many consumers write reviews on Social Media because they are upset or frustrated and they want to be heard. Social Media now serves as a platform to vent frustrations and complain directly to a company. While you cannot control what consumers say about your Franchise business, you can control how you respond to them.

Research from Jay Baer reveals that 42% of consumers expect a response within 60 minutes. While you may not be able to resolve an issue within an hour, you can still acknowledge the problem and let the customer know that you are actively looking to resolve it. A polite and personal message can turn your disgruntled customer into a happy loyal consumer.

Follow these examples below:

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 10.29.23 AM
Seamless responds to the customer in a timely manner and promises to look into the issue.
Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.42.34 AM
Tesco apologizes to the customer and gathers more information about the specific location where the problem occurred.

Weekends off? Not for customer service.

Social Media doesn’t shut down after 5pm on Friday and neither should you. In fact, many complaints or issues are sure to occur during the weekend when consumers are out and about shopping, going to restaurants and traveling. During this time, make sure that you have someone continuously monitoring your Social channels to address questions and complaints. And rule of thumb – try to have more than one person monitoring your Social Media channels. If your Social Media Manager goes on vacation, it’s important to have someone else available and ready to fill in.

Or you could end up like British Airways…

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.14.38 AM
British Airways makes the mistake of admitting their Twitter feed is only available at a specific time.

Don’t send an automated message to everyone

Yes, you want to respond to a complaint ASAP, but NEVER blast a blanket generic message to everyone who complains on your site. Your business will come across as robotic and irrelevant. Take this example from Bank of America. It is clear that the message was not specifically written for @OccupyLA.

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.21.42 AM
Bank of America sends an irrelevant automated message to a consumer.

Consumers want to know they are being heard. Make sure to personalize the message so the consumer knows that they are speaking to a human and their specific issues are being addressed.

  • Start by including the customer’s first name so they know you are replying directly to them.
  • Address the customer’s issue and explain how you will go about fixing it.
  • Apologize and own the mistake if your business is at fault.

If you can resolve it…do it!

According to a study from RatePoint, 90% of unhappy customers will return if an issue is fixed quickly and efficiently. With these insights in mind, make sure that all problems are handled promptly, and bonus points if you follow up with a consumer after the issue has been resolved.

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 12.07.33 PM
Nike follows up after a customer resolves an issue.

Set up the right notifications so you can quickly spot every message

It’s no surprise that frustrated customers sometimes spell a company’s name wrong when they are posting a complaint. With this in mind, make sure to set up rules in your tracking system so you can accurately monitor all posts directed at your Franchise business, even if the consumer does not directly message you. Obviously you want to track all @mentions, #hashtags, and generic mentions of your Franchise business’ name, but you also want to search for common misspellings of the name. Otherwise, you may miss an opportunity to resolve a problem and make an unhappy customer loyal again.

And lastly, we’ll leave you with this impressive Twitter exchange:Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 12.14.27 PM

Two hours later, a Morton’s server showed up at Newark Airport with a full meal (free of charge) to Peter Shankman.


How does your franchise handle complaints on social media? Type in your responses in the comments box below.

Related blog posts:

Ratings and review sites: Why you should keep your friends close and your enemies further

5 tips to overcome a negative review




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