Five ways to deal with customer complaints via Social Media

You suck!

No you don’t suck…
But what if someone said that either you or your business did!?! Online no less!
Social media as a marketing tool is great in many ways. It gives businesses the opportunity to target and interact with your customers while reinforcing your brand. But what about those instances where someone feels…. Well…less than satisfied and they decided to take the matter to their online community? What can you do? How can you address the issue?

1. Set up alerts

One of the perks of social media is the ability to monitor what is being said about your business online. Just by setting up a Google alert you can follow just about anything that is being said and thus look for any indications of unhappy customers. Speed of response is essential and social media can be very helpful in this regard.

2. Find out what you’re dealing with

How big is the issue? Are there multiple posts and comments made about it? What is the tone of the conversation? You will want to get a feel for how big the issue is before you try and address it. Certainly, you don’t want to amplify an issue if only two people are talking about it. But then again – It may only take a few people to start a firestorm.

3. Understand what you can do:

You have the choice to do absolutely nothing. You can just stand by watch the conversation sizzle and then fizzle. But what good would that do? Well it could make you look good at ignoring not addressing customer complaints and not caring about their needs.


4. You could respond.

You can listen to the issue and empathize with their frustration (even if you think its ridiculous). Decide what your response will be and then triage the post, comments, tweets and respond to them. You don’t have to respond to all of them, but make sure that your response is in a place that is easily found.

5. Communicate the solution:

Be commutative and not defensive. Think of it this way: You’re a consumer and if you had a problem with a product – how would you want the manager to address it? Would hurling the warranty your way and calling you an imbecile for not reading it give you the warm and fuzzies? Doubt it. Apologize for the negative experience and offer to take the conversation offline to discuss possible solutions. You can decide to engage in continual dialogue if necessary.

In closing- It’s better to respond and respond well to online complaints
than to not respond at all. It can have a good impact on your brand in the long