Do you sell products? Do you have an e-commerce site? Can the customer post reviews or comments? Are your responses to their comments and concerns visible? A potential customer seeing a company actively addressing issues in a public forum can be comforting and show your level of concern for your customers. There seems to be a traditional view (in some circumstances) that is indicative of “failure shows weakness” or “negativity is weakness”. I have seen this in both clients and companies both large and small that I have worked for or helped with their web presence.
I prefer to think like a consumer. I AM a consumer. I find a lack of any uneasy/concerned customer interaction alarming. What I want to see as a consumer, is how a company acts and how they address the customers concern. That will go MUCH further in alleviating a potential customers concern than just deleting the comment and pretending that it never happened. In fact, that will go much further in gaining me as a customer.
In this public and open era that we live, it may be better to opt for transparency and show that your client will have a positive interaction. Highlight your superior customer service skills. It can be comforting.
There are a few things to keep in mind however. You will need to be able to allocate time, energy and resources to addressing concerns in your social empire. If you don’t respond promptly you are proving that you aren’t attentive. It also doesn’t have to be completely transparent. You can certainly show the public that you are addressing the customers concerns without going into details. In the post suggest how to get in touch with you for more personal attention. Finish the post thread by thanking the customer for allowing you to make it right. It goes a long way.
This social world that we live in can be an amazing opportunity to show the world, in a passive and public way the strengths of your organization. Add customer service to that list and show people how you handle your business.