Handling Customer Complaints on Social Media

A 2013 PwC study shows that most companies aren’t receptive to the social media feedback they are receiving - 57% of companies don’t use social media for crisis management.

Why aren’t some companies more responsive to this type of feedback?  Not knowing how to resolve customer complaints is one thing, but ignoring a complaint or fumbling a response online is a big issue. Companies can’t risk damaging their reputation and turning off more customers.

With that in mind, here are three important reminders to dealing with social media complaints.

Be Active

At least 20% of companies that have a Facebook page leave complaints unresolved. If you’re going to build a company page, know that you’re building a community, and that it’s your responsibility to interact with all of your followers, some who may be disgruntled. If you haven't already assigned a social media specialist (or two, or three) to your company, consider it. Just have someone running the community.

Be Authentic

It’s not to your company’s benefit to generate an automated response for every complaint. The “Thanks for your feedback, please contact [customer service support Twitter handle]” might seem like a great idea. But if that same response pops up all over the thread, it shows you aren’t taking the feedback personally.

If you can manage a response that mentions details about their specific issue while directing them to speak further with the support team, then do so. It may not immediately turn that customer’s frown to a smile, but it at least shows your outreach is genuine.

Be Calm

One of the biggest mistakes companies can make is overreacting to negative feedback. There have been a few cases of companies who've attacked a customer's complaint. That exchange is out in the open for all to see and weigh in on with their comments. Remain calm and remind yourself that one bad response from your company puts your reputation and future customers at risk.

Final Thoughts

Avoid being the company that makes headlines for the wrong reasons. Give your employees proper conflict resolution training for social media complaints and build better press and customer loyalty from it.

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