Seemingly out of the blue, your fans are all over your case. You thought you were doing everything right, but for whatever reason they’ve gotten something under their skin and are looking to complain. You get the feeling if you weren’t around they would’ve convened on someone else, but there you are, trying to figure out what the problem is.
So what do you do? Since you’re not really sure what their deal is, you can’t just “fix” anything. In the end, it doesn’t particularly matter what the cause is. You have to figure out how to keep everybody happy so they’ll keep buying your stuff.
You know that stereotypical communication problem between men and women people talk about? Where the woman has a problem and the man spends time trying to fix things rather than just listen? This could be happening with your customers.
Naturally you want to correct whatever is wrong so your customers will be happy. But if after a while nothing is working, it’s time to try something else. They may just want to be heard. There’s even a chance it doesn’t have anything to do with you or your company. Everyone could be on edge about a recent national or local tragedy and just lashing out at someone in sight.
Be the Calming Voice
This doesn’t mean you should just wait out the storm, though. You can still spend time talking to your fans even though they apparently hate your guts right now. The important thing to remember is to not get sucked into the vortex of negativity.
If you’ve ever worked customer service (or have a child) you know an argument or discussion feeds on energy. If both parties try to “out yell” each other, it typically gets out of hand. If someone in the argument keeps their cool, eventually the other person will come back down to a calmer level.
You have to be that calm voice. No matter how crazy your fans get – on social media, in email, even over the phone – you have to be the cool one in the discussion. If you get sucked into yelling or typing in caps, things will just get that much worse.
See What You Can Actually Do
Again, the ultimate cause of why they’re suddenly ornery doesn’t change the way you handle the situation. What could make a real difference to your fans is how you react. Figuring out what will put your fans on the bright side of life can do wonders in getting things back to normal.
Of course if there’s anything to apologize for, then go for it. Beyond that, though, try to figure out what you can actually do to make them happy again. Even if you don’t think you did anything wrong, the longer everyone is mad and upset the less they’re buying your products or services. The sooner you appease them, the sooner you start making money again.
Some ideas are to offer a one-time discount for the store or offer free shipping for a period of time. Also, make sure to notice if anyone has any specific demands – for example, if someone mentions your site needs to be more open with return policies, take measures to fix it – even if it has absolutely nothing to do with what they’re complaining about otherwise.
Have your fans ever freaked out on you for seemingly no reason?
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