A lot of folks and businesses are often reluctant to adopt social media because their brand or product might get slammed in public in the process.
And I often get asked about dealing with negative comments on public social media channels. It’s a fact - customers can get pretty darn brutal at times. Don’t believe me? Check out what my team gets to deal with every so often :)
My answer is always the same: I’d much rather deal with a rabid customer online than a silent one. Why? Because the rabid one I can likely convert. We do it all the time. The silent one, however, I cannot.
The silent one is the one who spends his time hoping or looking for an alternative to my brand. When that alternative comes around - and it always does - he promptly bails out on me. And I didn’t even see it coming!
The real poison in this business are the “silent minority” (or majority if you’re in real trouble) of disgruntled customers just waiting for a better opportunity. The ones who bitch and moan, they’re doing you a favor. The others, they’re simply eating away at your bottom line like termites.
They’re the ones you need to worry about. They’re the ones you need to evangelize to and bring back into the fold. One customer at a time. There are no shortcuts for those.
So I tell people “Don’t worry so much about the vocal ones. Worry about the silent ones. And reach out to them before it’s too late!”. And that you cannot do without social media.
And incidentally, that’s a lot of what social media ROI is about. Problem is, it’s really - and I mean really - hard to measure. But in this day and age, the measure is whether or not you’ll be around in 24 months.