As more and more companies take to social networking sites. More and more customers are realising that they’ll receive a faster response by reporting an issue on a social network rather than calling or emailing them.
Complaints are much more common on Twitter than Facebook. Possibly because the fast moving nature of Twitter means you’ll get a swift response and the ease of typing out a quick complaint and just tagging a company in it.
Some companies understand this and have realised that they can utilise Twitter for customer support. Some even have a separate customer support Twitter profile; such as Twitter themselves, Microsoft , Netflix and UPS.
If your customers are complaining or reporting problems to you via social networking sites, you need to be able to handle them. And respond in the correct way to avoid a PR disaster.
So how do you deal with customer complaints on a social network?
Look for them.
This probably sounds daft, why would you go out of your way to look for a complaint? If you care about your customers, you’ll want to help them as much as possible and you won’t want to leave a complaint unresolved.
Monitor your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other social networks you’re on for complaints. You can also search for your brand on social networks to see if there are any negative comments mentioning your brand.
If you work for a hospitality business, you’ll also want to keep an eye on websites like Trip Advisor or Yelp.
Create a policy.
You should create a policy which details. How you will deal with a complaint, what you will do to try and rectify the problem and who will deal with the customers problem.
This is really important and will help you handle any issues in a way that maintains your brand image and tone of voice correctly. If it’s dealt with an inappropriate way, it will be remembered and could do your brand some damage.
Don’t delete it or ignore it.
Unless it’s abusive or offensive, don’t delete the comment, even if you fully intend on dealing with the complaint.
Deleting a complaint makes you look as if you’re shying away from a problem and not willing to listen to or support customers after they’ve made a purchase.
It will only anger the person who complained and make them post further complaints.
If a person has taken the time to calmly explain their problem or why they’re unhappy. You should have the courtesy to reply.
Dealing with it.
Reply to a complaint quickly. The chances are a customer has complained on a social network because they think it will be faster than calling or emailing you. The more you make them wait, the more annoyed they will become.
Keep your response professional and be as helpful as possible. At the same time though, remember to come across as human, so show some emotion. You probably know yourself how frustrating it is when you speak to someone from customer service. Especially if their responses sound automated and like they’re being read off a sheet.
You may choose to deal with the complaint openly or in private. In the case of the latter, respond to the complaint publicly and tell them that you’ve acknowledged their problem. That you’ll be in contact with them or give them a number or email address to contact you on. This shows everyone who sees the complaint that you aren’t ignoring the comment and you are dealing with it.
Remember that a customer who has complained is not automatically a lost customer. You can still win them over if you deal with an issue correctly.
So many questions pop up when it comes to social media, but don’t get stuck, just head over to our social blogs for all the answers you need.
Remember you can find us on facebook, twitter, pinterest and google+ for all our latest social media updates. Or if you feel you may need a little advice with your own social media, whether that’s getting started, or refreshing your knowledge, give us a call on 01543 495752 for a no obligation chat.