Regardless of how well you plan your social media strategy, you’re bound to make some missteps along the way. Erin Lynch, of Multichannel Merchant, points out the recent JC Penny uproar over a tea kettle resembling a certain German dictator. JC Penny couldn’t be expected to foresee that outcome, but they handled it impeccably. The tea pot was pulled from the store’s website and they used their social media profiles to apologize, with some good natured humor included.

The worst possible move in this type of situation is to ignore it. Had JC Penny’s social media team remained silent while the internet made the photo of their tea pot viral, they may not have escaped unscathed. Remember that in your own social media policies. When unhappy customers come calling, respond politely and apologetically. If it all possible, remedy the problem and report back so they, and others, can see how well you handled the issue. If ignoring problems is the worst move, then debating or challenging customers is a close second. The customer is always right, especially when your conversation is on a public, social media forum.

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