Social Media and Customer Complaints
Social Media has become a place where customers are taking their comments, experiences, and often times complaints to. According to Edison Research, 42% of consumers complaining in Social Media expect a 60 minute response time.
Are you ready to handle customer complaints, however true or false they may be? If not, you better be, because if not done correctly, it will do more damage than good.
Ignoring Social Media Complaints is a Huge Mistake
When someone uses social media (or any public review site such as Yelp) to complain about your business, your first urge may be to ignore it or even to scare the consumer into removing the complaint. Think carefully before taking either of these actions. Both of these actions can cause more harm than good, and a defensive reaction often times causes more negative publicity than desired.
Take a breather in the event that a negative complaint comes your way and bite your tongue. You must think of the larger picture and remember that it’s one persons experience. And it’s up to you to ensure that their experience is acknowledged and handled appropriately.
Here are a few tips to consider when dealing with Social Media and Customer Complaints.
- Reach out directly to those customer complaints. I typically leave a comment to their initial comment and first apologize for their experience. After all it is their personal feelings in the matter. Then ask them to email you or send a message back to get more details. Very rarely will you get the entire story. So make sure that you are making an effort to find the truth. A polite and positive response can come as such a surprise to a customer’s complaint that it can help to change the perception of the customer.
- Do not delay your response. Act immediately. The longer you put it off the greater chance that the customer will complain in other places, to other people. Let me remind you that word of mouth is the strongest marketing tactic ever.
- Whoever is handling your business’s social media needs to have the same services skill and training as any traditional customer service representative. Social media responsiveness is customer service, plain and simple. Be customer minded when dealing with anyone who interacts with your Social Media accounts.
- Avert social media complaints in the first place. If your business is actively engaged on social media, and your team is quick to step up to negative issues on the store front, in the first place, the chances of the customer(s) posting a complaint on social media is less. Customers whose experience is less than positive are not immediately inclined to post negative comments or poor reviews on your social media if they know that when they call their issues will get handled.
Bottom line…Social Media and Customer Complaints happen and could very well happen to you. Make sure that you take initiative in reaching out to them, and giving them the best damn customer service experience you can. And when you respond to a customers complaint on social media, remember it is public. So keep it consistent, sincere and simple.
Let me leave you with the final social media rule that we fully believe in:
Unless there is profanity or a threat, don’t delete a negative comment just because you don’t like it. Doing this can erase the authenticity, (authenticity drives your credibility) away from your page and makes you look like you’re hiding something. If you delete, your social community will call you out. Let others see your consistency, your sincerity, and the dedicated way you are willing to try to rectify customers complaints.