Social media is not just the public forum where you share content and special offers with your followers; it is also the place where people can leave their comments and opinions on your page. Most of these comments are positive and provide you with the feedback you need – that you are doing the right thing and that they appreciate the way you interact with them.
But what if one day you find a negative comment on your social media page? What do you do when faced with a customer’s dissatisfaction with your business or products? How do you deal with this situation? Before we start sharing some tips concerning what you should do, here is a quick list of things you must absolutely not do:
- Do not ignore the comment
- Do not delete the comment
- Do not start a public feud with the original poster
- Do not offer an empty apology that doesn’t offer any solution to the situation.
Instead, here are a few ideas to help you deal with negative comments on social media:
1. Answer Promptly
If you were running a brick and mortar store, would you let an unhappy customer pace to and fro and not address his complaint promptly? Of course you wouldn’t, so do not do this on the social media either. Ideally, all complaints should be dealt with within a few hours, but no later than 24 hours.
This is why it is important to actively manage your social media accounts every day and be up to date with the activity you have on them. Setting up Google Alerts to notify you of mentions of your brand name in the social media or on blogs will help you deal with all kinds of comments mentioning your business.
2. Respond Publicly
The best way to show people that you are taking complaints seriously is to address them in the public streams. Transparency is the best policy for every type of complaint. In this way, you confirm all your previous assertions concerning customer care. If people see that you do exactly as you claim you do in your mission statement and marketing materials, they will have more confidence and will become more loyal to your business.
However, there is a corollary to this rule…
3. Deal with Sensitive Issues Privately
In some situations, when a simple answer in the public timeline does not solve the complaint, you should continue discussing with the unhappy customer through private messages. Ask them to provide an email address and to give a detailed explanation of their complaint. Apply all your best diligence to find a satisfactory solution.
Once the problem is solved to the customer’s satisfaction, you may add a further comment in the public newsfeed in this respect.
4. Learn Something from Each Complaint
Criticism is not pleasant, but it is useful in helping you improve the way you are doing business and treating your customers. A simple complaint may make you aware of a problem which you didn’t even know that you had in handling orders and serving your customers.
Every time you work towards solving a complaint, think of ways in which you can change all your business processes so that this type of complaint never happens again. And, once you have found the way in which you can become a better business, you should take the time to thank the customer for drawing your attention to the problem.
5. Do Not Let Trolls Ruin Your Online Reputation
There are people who are never happy with anything, who want to antagonise others and provoke strong emotional responses for no good reason other than their own whim. These people are called trolls. They are present in a large number on the social media and will launch false complaints, and even make strong accusations against your business. These people are not and never will be valuable clients for your business, so the only thing you should do is block them and prevent them from ruining the positive atmosphere on your social media pages.
If you obey these five simple rules, you will become an expert at dealing with customer complaints on the social media and maintain a positive, friendly and helpful atmosphere for your followers.