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How to handle Customer Complaints via Social Media

Sep 20, 2017

#1 Respond Quickly

Try to respond within an hour of a comment being posted. While you may not have a solution right away, let the customer know that you are looking into it. After this, you should let the customer know when they can expect a further response.

#2 Acknowledge mistakes

Nobody is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes, but, when you do, don’t hide it, simply own up to the mistake and apologise if someone has an issue.

When posting an apology, make sure that it appears genuine. People can tell a scripted response a mile off and will be quick to highlight it, so, show your human side.

#3 Take the conversation offline

Dealing with complaints on social media does have a downside in that the comments and responses are public. If possible, deal with the complaints offline. This will prevent other people jumping on board and will also show the customer that you are working with them to resolve the problem

#4 Personalise your response

As mentioned above, people can spot a scripted / automated response a mile off and usually don’t find them very helpful. It’s best to tailor the response to the the issue at hand by including the customer’s name, outlining how you will deal with the problem, and how long it might take etc.

#5 Don’t take it personally

Remember, customers aren’t angry with you personally, they’re angry about the situation that they are in. Don’t take the comments personally or respond in a negative fashion. This will only make the situation worse.

#6 Make an Escalation Plan

It’s a good idea to have a proper policy in place for dealing with complaints, with a full list of employees, departments and contact details. This makes it easy for any employee dealing with complaints to address the issue to the right person / correct department.

#7 Go the extra mile

One of the most common complaints from customers on social media is that they have been unable to get the information they need from the company. But, don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers yourself. While it might sound counter-productive to refer a customer to another company’s product or service, it can actually help build trust.

The customer will appreciate the fact that you have gone the extra mile in assisting them.

#8 Follow up

Never assume that the issue has been resolved. Follow up with the customer after a few days to make sure that their problem has been resolved and that you have met their needs in full. This is also a good way to get feedback about the customer’s experience with your company.

#9 Don’t delete negative comments

Deleting negative comments from your social media doesn’t make them go away. In fact, the customer is likely to become more frustrated and will continue posting until you answer them. Nobody likes to be ignored.

However, if a customer if being rude, then link them to your social media policy (if you don’t have one in place, create one) and issue a warning. If they persist in being rude then it’s okay to delete and block this person.

#10 Monitor conversations about your company

If you wish to keep on top of negative comments, and stop issues from escalating, then you should monitor what people are saying about the company on social media.

However, this can be difficult as most people do not tag the company when talking about them on social media.

We have listed two tools below that makes it easier to monitor these conversations.

Mention – a free tool that lets you track mentions of your company across social media. You can choose the keywords to track and receive a notification when they are used.
Agora Pulse – a similar, but paid product that allows you to track when people have commented on your social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Agora Pulse also allows to to respond directly to comments within the app and mark the comment as complete.

Conclusion

Studies have shown that customers who experience good customer care on social media are likely to refer the brand to other people.

While it’s not possible to keep everyone happy, be honest and open when dealing with complaints and adopt a personal approach when interacting with the customer.

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