Social media is your best friend from a marketing standpoint. Whilst you’ll never have a better tool to reach a large audience quickly, it can come back to bite you. You have the ability to air your messages, but so do your customers. Every so often, you will reach a stage where someone has complained about your product or something that you have done.
Yes, most social media whiners are categorical morons who have nothing better to do, but that doesn’t mean you can tell them that. It’s your duty to grit your teeth and confront the whiner in a professional and appealing manner. Get it wrong and it could hurt you later on.
The number one technique for dealing with social media complaints is to calm down. It’s tempting to right a scathing and sarcastic reply, but don’t. If you can’t handle criticism immediately, walk away from the computer and take a deep breath. Return when you have the ability to confront the individual in the right way.
Unless the person is visibly trolling, you should always apologise. Never get into a confrontation with trolls. Remove their comments and be on your way. For every other situation, apologise for the customer’s inconvenience. Make sure you sound like you mean it. Don’t add in any sarcasm and don’t say ‘BUT’. This is what people want to see.
By apologising you make it clear that you’re a brand that wants to continue to improve. You demonstrate that you care about your customers.
A Free Gift
If you encounter a complaint where the customer has genuinely lost out because of you, offer something publicly. Call it a peace offering. Give them a free gift. For example, an events company that ruined an event for a customer could offer a free event at a time of their choosing. Don’t make a habit of this, of course, but when you have genuinely made a grave error do your part to show the general public that you want to make it right.
In the event a customer is upset as a result of your conduct, offer a tailored response. Don’t air out a long debate in the public eye. Offer to speak to the customer directly through private messaging. Not only does this stop you from getting into a long conflict in public, it allows the customer to feel like they matter more than anyone else. You want to make them feel as if you’re really going above and beyond the call of duty to help them solve their problems.
Always Follow Through
The above tips concentrated on how you speak to someone on social media in public. What they don’t take into account is what happens afterwards. Your goal should be to reduce the number of complaints on your social media pages. Right, so with that in mind, you need to make a point of following through on any promises you make to complainers.
This may not occur in the public eye, but it has to happen at some point. If you say you’re going to look into an issue for someone, actually look into the issue in a timely manner and get back to them with a full report. They shouldn’t have to chase you around for a response. This is only going to make your company look like a brand that doesn’t care about its promises.
Always make a point of following through quickly. The faster you do it and the better the response the more your stick is going to increase in the eyes of the general public.