Facebook Ads have proven to be one of the most effective rapid business growth tools to market your product or service in today’s increasingly digital marketing arena. In fact, some businesses rely solely on these ads to reach potential customers. There is, however, a problem inherent in such effective marketing; an issue that many businesses have forgotten or have begun to ignore.
While rapid business growth is (or should be) the dream of every company, it can also be detrimental to its longevity if they aren’t properly prepared for an influx of business.
As an agency, Uhuru is privy to the rapid growth problems of our clients that most CMOs, marketers, and businesses likely don’t understand. Struggling for traffic and leads is the more common scenario, yet this is an important lesson to learn.
The problem I’m describing ties into one of the most basic principals of doing business.
Deliver on your promises.
Give buyers what is being promised in your advertising and you’ll have a long line of happy customers that will likely return to buy again. Underdeliver or miss the mark completely and you’ll have a long line of angry customers banging on your digital door for a refund (and probably saying some not-so-nice things about your company).
I’m writing today to both remind you to work toward delivering exactly what you’re offering and show you exactly how to respond if something goes awry and you end up overpromising and under delivering.
Let’s take a look at the scenario below for a real-life example of how one of our clients handled a recent problem at their small concert venue. We asked the company’s permission to share this lesson with you today.
Fulfillment Issues From Rapid Business Growth
Facebook ads work for rapid business growth. With experts behind the wheel of your marketing campaign, you can achieve most of your marketing goals with relative ease.
One of our clients—a small, private concert venue—recently promoted an upcoming show via Facebook ads and had their first major problem with under delivering for their patrons.
They wanted 1,500 people to attend, and their highly optimized Facebook ads helped them meet their goal. The problem, as they soon figured out, was that they weren’t properly prepared to handle that volume.
Take a look at this aerial photo of the venue on the night of the concert.
In this scenario, the ads worked so well that every facility (bathrooms, food and drink, etc.) had long lines of frustrated people waiting to use them. This is what I call advertising beyond your capacity. The venue assumed it could handle 1,500 people and quickly discovered that their max was closer to 1,000.
In response to their frustration with the venue, many concert patrons began leaving their complaints in the comments section of the ads for this and the following week’s show promotion. As you can see, this type of review can severely hurt a business’s ability to retain a repeat customer base and achieve continued growth.
This is a sample of the frustrated comments being left on the venue’s ads.
How to Respond
As you can see from the comments above, there was a large negative response to the lines and general overcrowding. I recommended making a statement to the attendees as soon as possible.
The best response, something we recommend to all of our clients and anyone participating in digital marketing, is to reach out to each and every person who leaves a negative comment about their experience.
This is one of the core principles of social media customer service. Offer an apology, a statement of improvement, a promise to be better, and some sort of offer or discount to help remedy the situation. In the case of the venue, they offered a discount code to use at a future concert of their choosing.
Here’s a link to the response the venue issued:
We also recommend a general statement that is emailed to attendees and published on the company blog.
Rapid Business Growth Can Kill
Rapid growth often brings unforeseen quality control problems into the spotlight. It can exacerbate a relatively small issue to a point that it damages a brand’s image beyond repair, especially if the brand fails to respond quickly and effectively. You need to make sure your public relations approach is honest and highly responsive.
Dealing with Negative Facebook Comments
As I mentioned above, one of the most important ways to spin a rapid growth-related problem is by responding to customer feedback. One of the best places to do this is directly in the comments section where they left their complaint.
Try to look at negative customer feedback as an opportunity. You can build better customer relationships by solving problems. Want to turn an angry customer into a dedicated one? Fix their problem! A negative experience can spread through social circles pretty quickly. But one that becomes positive? That travels well too.
Pro Tip: Act like a human being.
It’s your responsibility to turn an unhappy customer into a happy repeat buyer in every situation possible. That means:
- Contacting them on an individual basis
- Offering an apology
- Explaining how you’ll do better
- Offering a refund, discount, or something of value to turn the situation around
What NOT to do
If you want to make a situation worse, do the following:
- Avoid the comments altogether
- Respond with an attack
- Engage “anger for anger’s sake” commenters
- Try to make excuses
- Delete comments
Excellent responsiveness to customer service complaints often turns frustrated buyers into happy repeat customers. Do everything you can to blow them away with your exceptional customer service response.
The emergence of the rapid business growth tools and customer-centric supply chain is forcing companies and retailers alike to re-think their communication and supply chain strategies, become more responsive, resilient, and keep a watchful eye on profitability.
Awareness of your business’s weak points and your brand’s image are at an all-time high. Be prepared for anything and everything that may come along with rapid growth and service issues.
Here’s to your own explosive success!