Isn’t Conflict Bad?
When I say conflict, what are the first thoughts to pop into your mind? Having asked this questions in many workshops here are some typical answers; negativity, pain, hurt, relationships, fragmented, war, divorce, broken (and the list goes on and on). In case you didn’t notice all of those words are not positive. This is what people and brands think generally about conflict. Are you surprised?
“Your brand works for you or against you, but it always works ” ~ John Morgan (author of Brand Against the Machine)
This is the same as conflict. In fact, replace the word ‘brand’ with ‘conflict’ and this statement runs just as true.
“Your conflict works for you or against you, but it always works.” ~Jason…ripping off John Morgan
In other words, how you deal with conflict is going to determine it’s outcome. You have the choice. What?? Yes…you have the choice. Here are three ways conflict can help your brand:
People are passionate. They can either be passionate for your brand or against your brand. Again…it’s your choice. But here’s the thing, passion is in people’s DNA. My own view is that people on social media, especially, have loud mouths. What I mean by that is that they aren’t afraid (at least over a computer) to voice their opinion. They are going to do this if they are passionate for your brand or against your brand. If you have people that are passionate about your brand, then great! Show them your appreciation! Do something for them! Embrace the love!
Here’s where brands miss the boat. We like people who spread our word. We like people who praise us. But we ignore the ones that are opposed to us. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone is going to like your brand, but what I am saying is that not all people that are talking negatively about your brand can’t be swayed. Like this for example;
Is @RogersHelps in the habit of ignoring people and complaints?
— The Photography Link (@twit_tpl) April 24, 2012
This is a passionate person and they are asking a simple question. This is Rogers opportunity to not only address this person, but to look back through their tweets to see what the orignal complaint was about. They could come back with an amazing answer and turn this person’s negative passion into a passion brimming with positivity.
2. Showcase Your Expertise
Let’s think about this for a second. People are complaining about your brand, maybe it’s the product, maybe it’s a service, whatever it is, they are complaining about you…they are challenging you. When people get upset they often start asking you questions. Here’s your opportunity to show them that you are an Expert in your field. Take this interaction for example:
First of all, sorry for picking on you Rogers…second of all, great job continuing the conversation. Lastly, here’s your chance! Why should this dude stay with you? Here’s your chance to be an expert! You have a golden opportunity to remind this customer why he choose you the first time, and you create the possibility of turning his negative passion into a passion that is for your brand.
3. Take Responsibility
When dealing in conflict situations, everyone places a part in the conflict. Yes…everyone. So claim what’s yours. Let the person know what your part of the conflict is. Take responsibility for it, don’t ignore it, don’t pass it off on someone else, it’s yours…own it. Not only are you going to find that people are in shock that a brand has taken responsibility but you are going to be able to build rapport and trust with that person.
If your actions require an apology…guess what….yep, you guessed it….apologize. But make it personal, don’t cut and paste an apology, make it unique to the person and their issue.
Any examples that you’d like to share from your experience?