Why Customer Complaints Are So Important To Address
Do you occasionally receive negative comments or feedback on your social media pages?
Deleting negative comments is the worst thing you could do, unless of course, the comment is offensive to minorities, disrespectful towards you or your other followers or completely unnecessary spam. If you delete a customer complaint that is reasonable, they are likely to notice and make matters worse by voicing their opinion more publicly or posting on your page repetitively until you address them.
So how do you approach a disgruntled customer on social media?
Acknowledge their frustration. Don’t turn a blind eye to their frustration, even if you don’t understand why they could be so upset over what you think is only a minor issue. Remember that all humans view and deal with things differently. What upsets one person, may not upset another and acknowledging your mistakes and making it known that you understand where they are coming from will help you to earn back your customer’s respect.
Apologise for the inconvenience whether it is your fault or not. If you or your product/service has caused them an inconvenience, then you need to apologise, mentioning exactly what it is that you are apologising for. This will show that you care and that you have listened to their complaint. If the customer has been mistaken about an issue which you can justify or teach them more about, then do so in a polite and positive manner. For example, if a social media user claims that you are not a sustainable company, but in fact you have put many measures in place to ensure you are, then politely inform them about your sustainable actions. For example, mention the recyclable packaging or how a percentage of your profit is donated to an environmental cause, etc.Then perhaps ask them what they may like to see your company do to further enhance your sustainable approach. This way, everyone feels involved in making your business better off.
Action is key and doing everything in your power to fix it immediately is essential to great customer service. If you aren’t sure whether you can take a particular action, such as offering a refund, ask someone who holds a higher position in the company who may know the answer. Customers don’t want to hear bad excuses or a simple “I can’t do that for you” or “I can’t answer that question.” Answers like these are frustrating and can lead to further hate mail or messages! For employees who are dealing with complaints, it is a good idea to have a list of contacts of the people that work in each department, who can assist them with solving the issue. If a complaint is a difficult one to handle or hasn’t been resolved in the comments section, then opt to take the conversation offline.Use a conversational tone, addressing them by first name and ask them to formally complain through your website or by email so that it can be documented. This also shows other followers or fans that you are dealing with the complaint but defers them from joining in on negative conversation about your brand. It also prevents the situation from escalating and shows the follower that you are taking them seriously and want to have the matter resolved.
Assure them that it won’t happen again and follow up within a few days to make sure that everything has been resolved. It is also a good idea to ask them if there is anything else you can assist them with and ask for customer feedback about their overall experience with your company.
Remember that dealing with angry customers and negative comments on social media is a part of running a business – try not to take it personally! Remember the four A’s when responding to frustrated customers or followers: Acknowledge, Apologise, take Action and Assure.