Handling Automotive Customer Comments Online
The internet is arguably the greatest tool that can be used in automotive customer service. It allows automotive businesses like showrooms and workshops to reach a much wider audience to market their products and services and potentially increase their revenues by huge margins. For the automotive customers, it’s a great way to find the service providers within their reach, close to home.
Added to that, customers seeking automotive services, spare parts or even accessories are able to go online to differentiate between the good ones and the bad ones, thanks to comments and reviews posted by other customers online.
The challenge for automotive business owners and their customer service representatives, this poses a problem when it comes to unhappy customers who post negative reviews or comments. This makes the customer service process more challenging because the dissatisfaction is publicly visible, whether or not the automotive business is at fault.
These negative comments must be handled with care, diplomatically and with the highest level of professionalism. Here are a few tips:
Respond to all comments, good and bad
Regardless of whether the online comment by the customer is good or bad, all of them have to be addressed. With good comments, a simple ‘Thank you’ is all that is required. Something so small and easy that will take you just seconds to type out will have a lasting impact, as it makes the customer feel appreciated, and it helps them feel that it was worthwhile for them to say something nice about your automotive business.
Negative comments must also be addressed and not ignored. Ignoring negative comments could just result in the customer feeling even more neglected and angry, which might drive them to make an even bigger issue out of something that was initially just a small problem.
Do not take it personally, and do not respond emotionally
There have been many instances in the past when the person responding to the comments online ended up fighting with the customer instead of helping them. This is because the person behind the keyboard forgets that they are representing their company, and in doing so should be very professional, not being personally insulted by the comments and responding without any negative emotions.
Remember: any fights between businesses and customers online can be seen by the whole world, and there is a high risk of it going viral which exposes the automotive business to unnecessary and dangerous risks.
Channel the compliment or the complaint to your customer service team
This depends on whether or not the person handling online comments is a part of the automotive business’ customer service team. See, some business have a dedicated team while others do not. In either case, what should be done is to thank the customer for their feedback and then encourage them to interact directly with a member of your team.
This could happen in the form of a phone call or even a face-to-face meeting to resolve the issue that they were complaining about in the first place. The key here is to take the interaction offline, so that any complaints or suggestions can be addressed properly.
Update the comment
Once the issue is resolved, it would be wise to work closely with the customer and request that they update their complaint. Most sensible customers are more than willing to do this; it would not be fair if the issue was resolved but the complaint was still up online for the world to see. This is greatly beneficial for your automotive business because not only does it show that you are responding to your customers’ comments professionally, it also shows that you are willing to resolve whatever issues you have with your customers.