Online Transparency is Credibility
I was first introduced to the dynamics of company Facebook pages back in 2011 while working for a bottled water company named Crystal Rock. I was randomly searching for my co-workers online when I found they were all following the company page. Upon viewing the page I noticed many lovely costumer compliments as well as irate complaints. There were even terrible customer posts signing out individual customer service representatives they were unhappy with. I noticed under many of the compliments and under each complaint, the Crystal Rock administrator gave a very thorough and professional response. Many times the administrator would describe the solution/corrective actions they planned to take to ensure the complaint was handled there on the page.
My initial reaction to this was “Why would the company keep this visible?”, I imagined it must be incredibly bad for business. When I got to work the next day I asked out communications specialist and she told me this was promoting credibility through transparency. The fact that Crystal Rock had complaints and left them visible for the world to see after publishing their plan to correct the issue made them in a sense human and that they cared about customers. If they had left the comments unanswered the page would have appeared poorly maintained, but the responses showed no shame, no pretense, and that Crystal Rock always wanted to do right by their customers and each customer voice mattered.
This concept has been taken a step farther when encountering companies who do the opposite. There are many Instagram companies who provide awful customer service, and when customers complain on their pages the comments are deleted and the customers are blocked. These customers often resort to resources like Yelp and other review forums to publicize these instances. Before I purchase anything off Instagram (or any online company) I study the reviews thoroughly. Sites such as AliExpress that have public complaints that resolve the issues are more likely to get my business, however companies that have customer complaints about being blocked and deleted for expressing their dissatisfaction will NEVER get my business. This is nothing I have ever thought twice about, but when I heard it from the Crystal Rock communications specialist it clicked.
In my opinion, companies can promote credibility and transparency with customer blogs and feedback. Both positive and negative helps. Consumers aren’t always expecting perfection and are often forgiving if they feel companies actually care. Company pages as described are definitely ways to promote business.