Social media’s glass house


August 10, 2013

In today’s transparent world, are you comfortable with what’s being said about your company, considering social media? There are many platforms to keep track of, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Angie’s List and Google+. As service professionals, we need to be diligent to ensure our entire team — from those who answer the phone to the field representatives — constantly provides excellent customer service.

Consider what people post online about their lives:

  • “Well, we’re just now leaving the restaurant and got the worst service ever.”
  • “Don’t use XYZ company because they ripped us off royally.”
  • “My pest control company provides the best customer service, and their employees are top-notch!”

In the glass house we’re destined to live in as a result of social media, we have to go the extra mile to make sure our customers are more than satisfied. Does your company talk about and equip all employees to be aware they’re the face of the company and every action could be scrutinized or praised?

You must be on top of any good or bad information that comes to light. Make sure you respond to each review your company gets — good, bad or otherwise. Some companies have even gone as far as hiring outside firms to monitor what’s being reported about their customer service. Many have hired an in-house marketing staff to handle advertising placement and ensure social media campaigns are firmly in place and on solid ground. I suggest a three-pronged plan to respond and face this social media mountain:

  1. Become aware of what’s being said about your company.
  2. Respond to each review in a timely and positive manner.
  3. Provide the best customer service experience you can, from the initial contact to the completed service.

Be sure others will talk about you. Because it’s human nature to quickly share bad news, we must work more diligently to make sure the public shares the good news, too. To achieve the public’s high expectations, constant training is essential, so keep documented records that each employee has received training.

My wife, Tammy, recently held a telephone etiquette training session with our frontline staff to hone their skills. She reminded them their smile needs to come through the phone line and all calls made to our office should be handled with a “do unto others” customer-care attitude. Always have proven systems in place to monitor your company’s level of customer service, and involve your customers in your social media reviews. The most important aspect of a service industry like ours is delivering a remarkable service experience with each contact to ensure we’ll keep our customers, keep them happy and keep our online reputation impeccable. pmp

You can reach Johnson, a past president of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and current president of Sevierville, Tenn.-based Johnson Pest Control, at


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