Posted on 10th April 2017 at 13:45
At Connected we know how important it is to give great customer service. How we deal with any
complaints is even more important to us as handled correctly you can win a customer for life!
Social media: loved by the masses, feared by many businesses. We all know the benefits of being active on the likes of Twitter and Facebook (real-time engagement, building your brand, meeting customer expectations etc), but there are some downsides too, not least the risk of very public customer complaints. Read on for our top tips on how to handle customer complaints via social media.
1. Have a social media complaints plan in place
Even the best of businesses will struggle to please 100% of customers 100% of the time, so it's important to have a plan in place for dealing with any negative comments that you get via social media. You don't need to be scared of negative feedback - if you deal with complainants quickly and appropriately, it can actually increase customer trust and loyalty.
2. Respond promptly
There are two key reasons why you need to take prompt action when you receive a customer complaint via social media: one, the complaintant expects it and two, the longer you delay, the more people (potential customers) are going to see just one side of the story.
Ideally, you should try to reply within an hour. It won't always be possible to resolve a complaint within that time, but it is possible to at least acknowledge it and suggest when you'll be able to have a full response - if you don't include a timeframe, you risk being chased publicly.
3. Admit mistakes
If you haven't met your customer's expectations, acknowledge it. Swerving blame is likely to encourage further criticism. Take responsbility, publicly apologise, and then try to find a solution.
4. Move the conversation offline
Keeping the complaint process on social media keeps it in the public eye and can encourage others to jump on the bandwagon. The apology has to be public, but after that, try to liaise with your customer one-to-one.
5. Keep it personal
Although it can be tempting to send an automated holding response in order to deal with a complaint quickly, or at the very least cut and paste a standard reply, no one likes to feel that they're dealing with a computer. Personalise the response as much as you can - use a conversational tone, use the complainant's name, and refer to their specific problem.
6. Follow up
Always check with the complainant that they're satisfied the issue has been resolved. Failure to do so risks another negative public conversation on social media.
7. Don't delete negative comments
As tempting as it may be to delete negative feedback, particularly any that you feel is unfair, don't! You're likely to frustrate the customer and encourage further venting - and if others see that you've deleted comments they may get the impression that you're untrustworthy and uninterested in their views.
8. Feedback complaints into the business
Just as important as dealing with the indivdiual complainant well is making sure that the business learns from its mistake. Social media is a fantastic tool for gathering customer feedback, so make sure your plan includes a way of making the most of all that knowledge.