How to Handle Complaining Customers on Social Networks


This just in—not every customer is going to love you. No matter how good your products and services are, you’re eventually going to have a customer that’s impossible to please. It’s just part of doing business. In the past, dissatisfied customers may tell a few friends, but now, they can hop online and put your brand on blast in front of the whole world using Facebook, Twitter, and a range of other social networking sites.

How should you respond when a customer complains about your company online?

Address complaints quickly—The longer you drag your feet before responding, the more that anger is going to boil inside of your customer. You have to be proactive. Remember, other people are watching and waiting to see how you’re going to respond. If you don’t take care of problems in a timely manner, you could lose more customers.

Don’t get defensive—In your eyes, your company is perfect. But the truth is that you probably do have some faults. If you immediately get overly defensive when a customer says something nasty about you online, you’re going to look bitter, unprofessional, and cocky. None of these are traits your customers will like.

Don’t make excuses—Customers don’t want excuses. They want restitution. Don’t make excuses for your mistakes, and don’t point the finger at others. Own your company’s mistakes, fix the situation, and promise the customer to never make the same mistake again.

Find out what you can do to make the customer happy—The good news is that most upset customers can still be won over. If you’ve made a mistake and are apologetic and eager to make things right, most customers will forgive you and give you another chance. Speak to the angry customer and ask them what exactly you can do to make the situation right. This puts the ball in their court, and it helps you find a solution for winning them back.

Take the conversation private if necessary—If the issue isn’t something that can be solved easily, you may wish to take the conversation with the angry customer to a private place. Perhaps you can direct message them, email them, or give them a phone call. You don’t need to put the whole thing out in public for everyone to see.

Consider asking the customer to remove the complaint once resolved—If you’re able to resolve the complaint, politely ask the customer if they would consider removing their negative post now that the issue is taken care of. In most cases, the now satisfied customer will happily oblige.

What’s your method of dealing with customer complaints online? Share your tips by leaving a comment below.

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