Online Etiquette: How to Talk About Customers on Social Media

Customer service should not be taken lightly. Customer service can build or destroy a company.

These days, social media is one of the most impactful places to affect customer impressions and satisfaction. This fact was made most clear to me a few days ago while I was considering hiring a business for my own personal reasons.

For a few years now, I have always given my Great Pyrenees a “spa day” with a mobile groomer. Its easy, convenient, comfortable. It’s knowing that my dog is not put in a housing crate until my shift is over. He always came bouncing out of that RV clean and quickly returned to his routine. However, as I made the spa appointment this year, the groomer was first unavailable, then unreachable.

So What’s a Girl to Do? Head to Facebook, of Course!

Facebook friends helped a girl find a nice groomer for her long over due Great Pyrenees. Several responded. As I began researching their recommendations, I came across a brick and mortar that was not too far from my location.

As I clicked on their Facebook page, I was completely stunned by what the business had posted just days prior. Photos and a caption of a farm dog with matted fur that was brought in to be groomed.

You would think this event would make a great transformation post to show off the groomer’s talents, but to my surprise no…Instead, the post proceeded to rant about how the animal is so abused and groomer just couldn’t stand releasing the dog back to owner.

I instantly became disgusted. Not at the dog owner (as the photos were not pretty) but at the business owner.

Don’t Talk About What You Don’t Understand

You’ll just end up looking like an idiot.

Wikipedia defines a working dog as “a canine working animal, i.e., a type of dog that is not merely a pet but learns and performs tasks to assist and/or entertain its human companions.” I own a farm dog, a dog that pretty much refuses to come in the house. When he does, it’s for short periods of time as he believes there has to be some mischief going on outside that he has to be aware of.

As an owner of a “farm dog,” my dog’s hair can be matted after a day outside. His dirty booty does not mean he isn’t loved and well taken care of. How does that business owner know the same isn’t true for the animal she just badgered all over social media?

Insulting a Paying Customer Can Lose Future Customers

While curiously looking through the comments of this “farm dog” post, I saw continuous badgering of the dog owner and how he had mistreated the animal. I wondered: Is the owner of this “farm dog” aware that the person he just paid is blasting photos of his animal all over social media? More importantly, if the groomer didn’t like me would I be next?

Reviewing a business can either lead to making an appointment or moving on to the next search option. In my case, I could not get off the page quick enough.

Every Post Is a Footprint

Social media is not as fleeting as it seems. Every post leaves a lasting impression of what your business stands for.

A simple solution to this first impression with the dog groomers would have been to show the dog’s transformation at the hands at the groomers and provide tips on preventing the matting from happening in the future. Not to insult your customer but to show what your business is actually capable of. In this instance; an outside matted dog, perfectly groomed to embrace the summer months.

Use Your Authority for to Help, Not Humiliate

There is a good reason you have clients: because the client is not the expert. The client is need of assistance no matter what the business may be. Education is valuable when you, the business owner, can brand yourself as the charitable professional.

If you see a person who can improve or is seeking advice but may be embarrassed or to naïve, offer it willingly. In this case of a customer’s dog’s coat, suggest a specific brush or comb that may make the grooming experience a better one for the animal and owner, which in return will help when it comes to the next grooming appointment.

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