15 Mar Handling Social Media Complaints
The truth is that unsatisfied customers are more likely to share their stories than those who are satisfied. Word of mouth is one thing, but this becomes especially dangerous now that social media has become so prevalent in our lives. Issues that could once stay small and contained can now mushroom out of control with a few keystrokes and a simple click.
Unfortunately, not enough brands have put enough thought into how to properly handle these types of situations. Here are a few precautions you can take to protect your brand against social media assault.
1. Be Present
If you don’t have an online presence, how do you know what people are saying about you? A social media presence is integral for today’s brands. Having an online presence as well as a direct connection with customers gives brands the opportunity to answer to and rectify complaints before the issues get any worse.
2. Don’t Think it Won’t Happen to You
Always remember to take complaints seriously. Some of them may seem trivial or silly, but you truly never know how the public might respond or what has the potential to produce a PR nightmare.
For this reason, always anticipate that a comment or complaint can spiral out of control. It’s important to have a strategy in place should such a situation arise. Engage in some scenario planning and brainstorming. Ask how you would deal with a situation and what you would say if it happened. Make sure that you have a plan in place as to who is going to respond and how it will be done.
It is best to respond to a person who has made a negative comment or complaint within a 24 hour period. Otherwise, the complainant may feel ignored and launch more criticism. Yes, this means you need to be on alert 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
3. Always Apologize
Be sure to apologize for the customer’s poor experience and offer reassurance that you are going to right whatever it is that went wrong. People will appreciate your seriousness and commitment to making things right.
4. Be on the Look Out
The secret to protecting your brand is always knowing what’s being said about it. Watch for mentions of your company’s name, products and services. Monitor Twitter, check YouTube, search Facebook and set up Google Alerts.
By paying attention to what’s being said about, you’re able to see if the same complaints keep surfacing. The process can be very insightful and beneficial. Applying customer feedback can greatly improve customer relations.
5. Experience is an Asset
Make sure you have someone with the necessary social media know-how and experience to handle your brand’s online presence. This person will be vital in helping the brand identify any potential problems quickly.
For brands, social media is all about managing customer relations. Customers will always have complaints and now they have larger, more public platforms to voice them. Taking a proactive stance is your best defence against social media complaints.