I Did Not Say That!
The popular adage “all press is good press” does not apply to customer service. Going viral for dreadful service (real or perceived) is not worth the resulting brief free publicity and attention. Over time, a company will suffer, even if they see some short-term gains. As customer service continues to rapidly expand into social media channels, fake accounts are also being created that completely misrepresent genuine businesses by posing as customer service representatives to their customers. The gravity of such interactions range in intensity from mischievous to downright rude; which leaves a sour taste in the mouths of customers and ‘spectators’ alike.
Social media is a driving force in how people stay informed, so most of your customers and potential customers now more than ever get their news through social media accounts and also interact with businesses there. They rant or rave about organisations (including yours) and also try to solve genuine problems, thus presenting these organisations with an opportunity to acknowledge compliments, answer questions or even repair a tarnished image.
Fake social media customer support poses a real risk for the organisations that these trolls impersonate, because consumers believe they are dealing with actual employees of the organisation. Depending on how bad the interaction is, it will shed a harmful light on the business and alienate potential customers. Remember there are always spectators in the social media space, so if such happenings go unchecked, businesses will have to invest a lot of resources in order to redeem their image.
Admittedly it can be difficult to prevent these fake accounts from being created, however the following tips can help prevent or lessen the havoc they can wreak on businesses:
1. Vigilance is key. Keep a close watch on your social media accounts and monitor mentions of your business on social media. You are in a better position to spot such activities quicker.
2. Interact often with your customers on social media. They will become familiar with your communication style, and are more likely to spot a fake account impersonating your business.
3. Report immediately. The most popular social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have a Help Centre/Desk online where you can fill a form by following on-screen instructions to report impersonation.
4. Spread the word. Advice clients, associates and all contacts to always be on the lookout for fake accounts.
“In the world of internet customer service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away” ~ Doug Warner, Internet enthusiast