Contractor Marketing: When Clients Attack!

Don't be an ostrich, attack complaints head on…

Earlier today I talked about the effort involved in social media marketing for contractors. And no matter how well you treat your clients, there is always going to be someone who feels slighted. And that’s when you are going to have to deal with criticism online.

Criticism online is a lot different from dealing with someone one-on-one. Just ask any contractor who has been screwed to the wall by a disgruntled client on AngiesList . And while no social media experiment is going to be flawless, there are some guidelines to follow as you prepare your organization for the inevitable criticism that will come your way!

What to do when clients attack!

Don’t be an ostrich – Meaning don’t bury your head in the sand. Respond early and often. Ignoring someone who is pissed at your company results in more and more anger which can then lead to crisis.

Be honest to a fault – If you screwed up, now is a good time to fess up. This will be a great opportunity to show the world you are real and authentic. Be clear about your company’s stance on the matter and make sure you do whatever possible to make the situation right.

Stop on a dime – Use feedback to alter or change your marketing approach online. If people are offended by the fact that your company tweets a discount every hour, then consider revising that program.

Attack where attacked – If someone comes after you on Twitter, don’t respond on Facebook. It may seem obvious, but some companies will respond on platforms that favor them, not realizing that mobilizing on the same front as their attacker will neutralize the situation and keep it from spreading.

But how do you track what is being said about your contracting company when you are out installing new windows or pouring concrete? I have that answer too on a post I did about using Google Alerts to monitor your brand online.


One response to “Contractor Marketing: When Clients Attack!”

  1. Another excellent post. As you say, if you have any sort of company profile online, one day an attack will come, and best to be prepared. Much the same as real life, fess up if you are in the wrong and whatever the case, make sure to try put things right in a timely manner.

    I had a complaint via Twitter claiming that I had not properly prepared one of my kitchen cabinet doors – a couple of panel joints had split literally 1/2″ it was ugly and to the DIY eye, it must have been the painter’s fault, as it was fine before I went in!

    The reality was that I would only ever use a 9% expandable caulk, and in moderation – stable timber cant flex much, and more than 9%, it aint stable timber. I suggested that, of course, I would put the door paintwork right, but the likelihood was that the new door was faulty, considering there was no issue elsewhere in the kitchen. That proved to be the case, the kitchen company dealt with it and all got sorted amicably online. In fact and more work followed..

    Ignoring or getting defensive from the off-go would never have resolved that issue.