Angry Customers 101: How to Properly Handle and Respond to Customer Complaints on Social Media
There are many kinds of risks that may happen when you start a business; failures, errors, dysfunctionality, manipulation, fraud, treasons, and even complaints. With those risks in mind, business owners are required to have strong personality that includes a great deal of patience, sincerity – the inner beauty of a survivor. That being said, this does not necessarily mean that all of those risks are going to happen. Thanks to management plans and trusted employees, somehow we can prevent those things from happening. However, there is one of those risks that is inevitable when it comes to business – customers’ complaints. Yes, even you can’t avoid complaints from your customers and now thanks to the more developing technology, customers can give complaints everywhere including (or mostly) on social media. Social media has become a place for everything. Most of us have ever heard and seen people complaining about their life on social media, right? Well, it turns out; it is not always about their life they are complaining about. It can be about your products or bad services too. If you are a business owner or someone who is working in the marketing or social media marketing division, let’s learn how to properly handle and respond to customer complaints on social media only in this article! Keep reading to learn more.
Having been working in the social media marketing for almost 2 years, when I complained as a customer to a restaurant, and they didn’t respond to my complaints until a week later, I immediately thought to myself, “Oh, they need a serious ‘check-up’ on their social media marketing team.” But it is not about me being a customer, but it is about how the company handles the situation. Avoiding customers’ complaints for days will only make your company come off as irresponsible and not reliable. Therefore, try to reply within 1 hour. Remember; always respond immediately, no matter what.
Admit your mistake
There is no business that is perfect. We all know that, including your customers. Therefore, if you make mistakes, admit it and try to fix it. Don’t forget to sincerely apologise from the bottom of your heart. Your customers need to know if you are reflecting upon your mistakes or not. Hiding, especially denying your mistakes will only degrade your business’ reputation and credibility.
Personalise your responses
Automated responses may be the fastest way to deal with people. However, I wouldn’t recommend that. While it may seem to be more practical that way, it would only backfire in the long run, especially when the response is not relevant to the complaints. When you see complaints on your social media business account, you personalise your own genuine response using your own ‘voice’ and let them know you are going to fix it. Here are some ways you can do when personalising your responses:
- Reply using a conversational tone
- The customer’s name should be included in the response
- If it is really your mistake, acknowledge it and reflect upon it
- Sincerely apologise and let them know you will fix it
- Even if it is not your mistake, you should still apologise for the inconvenience, but let them know what really happens and explain in details
- After the issue is solved, ask them again if there is anything else you can do to help
- Thank them for notifying the issue to you and tell them you will try not to let that happen again in the future
There are kinds of complaints that you may receive. After all, people are born with different personalities and characteristics. You may even receive very rude complaints from very angry customers – it all depends on their characteristics and the situation. Your customers may be having a bad day and then at the same time, receiving your bad service and they get really angry about it and let it all out on you. Therefore, if you are not mentally strong and patient in dealing with people’s anger, then you should leave it to somebody else who is more experienced and careful in their approach to social media marketing and dealing with people. If you feel that you are patient, then it should be okay for you to handle it while keeping a cool head and offering help to your customers.
Don’t delete negative comments
Negative comments on your social media are simply reminders that you are a human and it is only natural for a human to make mistakes. It reminds you that you are not perfect and that you should not repeat the same mistakes again. Of course, you should respond well to those comments and fix the mistakes you have made. This will let people know that you are responsible and reliable. Deleting comments will only make things worse. People would think you run from your responsibilities and they would not trust your products or services anymore to ever use it again.
That’s how to properly respond to your customers’ complaints. Keep in mind that even though you have responded well to them, you should really reflect on your mistakes and fix it. Offer them real solutions and do it properly. One thing for sure; make sure it won’t happen again. If you keep doing the same mistakes over and over again, chances are, your customers would prefer your competitor to do the service for them instead of your company.