There has been always demanding customers. But, since social media started to be widely used, the number of these kind of situations has increased. And nowadays these demanding customers can really be a threat for any company. Or… could it be an opportunity?
With a great power comes a great responsibility! And in this case, social media gives power to both sides of the coin, both businesses and customers. As I said in my previous post about how everyone should be genuine when engaging with people, there’s some risks when using network platforms.
Let’s look at the customers’ side. They know they have a power that maybe 10 years ago they didn’t have. This power is about realizing that with a single post in Facebook/Twitter/website page they can reduce that business reputation. Luckily is not something that often happens, but we should still be aware of it.
Where I see most of these demands happens is in the hotels sector. In fact, there’s a lot of websites in which they give tips on how to ask for an upgrade! A customer casually says that he/she would like a room upgrade, almost like a joke. They might state that it’s their birthday, or it’s a special occasion. They do it in Facebook/Twitter/Google+ where everyone can see it, and therefore press the hotel to take a favorable decision. There’s nothing really bad about it when we have that room available or the customer doesn’t expect the upgrade.
The dangerous part comes when they actually expect it and we cannot attend their petition. When they are not just suggesting, but rather demanding. They might not explicitly say it, but they could leave a bad review if they don’t get what they want.
In this situation we need a bit of common sense. A lot has been written about how to deal with demanding customers. Even if some has been written even before the social media “boom”, most of it can be used in social media as well.
Not getting nervous is rule number one. If we really can’t satisfy the request made, then maybe we can find other solutions. In the hotel situation, maybe we can offer free breakfast, free access to the spa, discounts in certain activities, etc. If the customer keeps pressing even after this and we can’t do anything else, then we should still keep calm and reply in good manners. If a bad review is made, probably we will be able to explain to the rest of the public what happened, or even… just accept it and move on. As I said these cases should not be common (If they are common, then something’s absolutely wrong!)
To summary, both businesses and clients have great power thanks to social media. Businesses should focus on do their best, showing true concern for their customers. Clients can be demanding of course, but always within the limits of politeness.