Customer complaints on social media are totally unavoidable. It’s how you handle them that makes all the difference.
When done right, you can quickly resolve the situation and win over a happy customer. When done wrong, you can quickly find yourself in a heated argument for all of your social media followers to see.
What’s the best way to respond to frustrated customers on social media? Let’s take a look.
Monitor your social media mentions
You can’t just assume complaints are going to come during normal business hours. Here, a customer tweeted ModCloth at 10:30pm.
Whether you encourage customers to share customer service concerns via social media or not, you’ve always got to pay attention to what people are saying about your business online.
I know things can get hectic, but you want to make sure you check your social media chatter at least once daily (ideally multiple times throughout the day).
To make sure you don’t miss anything, you can use resources such as mention for real-time social media alerts so you can react quickly.
You can also set up push notifications for each of your profiles so you receive an email notification once someone engages with you via social media. Although those can get annoying fast if you get a lot of traffic.
72% of consumers expect brands to respond to complaints posted on Twitter within an hour, that according to a study by Lithium.
Even though ModCloth got the initial tweet late at night, they still responded right around 10:00 am the next morning.
Regardless of whether you think that’s unrealistic or not, more and more customers are expecting businesses to respond to complaints on social media fast.
Move the Conversation Offline
The single biggest mistake small businesses make when trying to handle customer complaints via social media is not taking the conversation offline. No matter how great your customer service is, you don’t want to run the risk of things spiraling out of control.
Here, ModCloth encouraged the customer to reach out via LiveChat online chat software.
If you don’t have the bandwidth to offer something similar, you can point them to a contact form, ask them to direct message you via social media, etc.
Close the conversation loop
In this case, luckily the customer wasn’t all that upset. He was able to get better shipping for less money. As he put it, he was “All smiles."
What I love about this example is that ModCloth still responded one more time to close the loop…
Looking for more case studies on handling customer complaints on social media?
Here's an example of what can go wrong when you don't take the conversation offline.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user findyoursearch]