Complaint Handling is a Key Skill for Social Media Managers
It is a fact, anyone that runs a website, blog or social media account will come up against negative comments at one time or another. Unfortunately there is no one size fits all when it comes to responding to negative comments.
Depending on the complaint, the best way to deal with these types of issues can be anything from education, where you provide informative and educational material to balance the argument and provide a more positive community discussion to banning the commenter.
If you do need to apologise for something, by all means do it, and fast, don’t wait too long. Accept that changes need to be made and that the problem will be remedied.
Remember too, you don’t always have to respond to negative comments, especially if someone is trying to provoke you, in these cases it is better to ignore this type of activity. But sometimes these people will not go away. As a result it might be worth writing:
Thank you [customer], we welcome your feedback! We’ve discussed this numerous times and we understand your concerns. Our goal is to provide the best experience we can.
If you have additional concerns or want to reach out to directly, please phone us on [phone no,] or email me at [email address].
A Case Study on Social Media Complaint Handling
As a social media manager I have helped my clients address numerous online complaints.
One such case included a rather disgruntled person posted a negative comment about a company’s product and follow up service. I thanked the customer for his feedback explained the company’s policy in relation to his issue. To end I asked that he contact our office to discuss the issue further.
The gentleman spoke to a customer service officer who offered to work with him and provided a solution to the problem. Unfortunately this was not enough for the customer.
The following day the gentleman barraged the company’s social media account every 10 minutes for nearly an hour before I was able to get his attention and ask that he contact the office to speak with the Managing Director – which he did. Again, not happy with the options provided he continued with his online barrage the next morning.
In order to stop his online complaints (which started to get rather personal and extending to negative comments about staff) I advised that his posts were against the company’s “terms and Conditions of Use” and referred him to the notes section of the company’s Facebook page where the T&C’s were located.
I further added that I will need to delete his post and, if he continued, I would ban him from the page. I asked that he contact the company again if he had any further concerns.
This finally got his attention, he called head office, spoke with the Managing Director, agreed to the original solution provided and even replied to my comment that he will stop posting.
Its a Company’s Responsibility:
If you manage a company’s social media accounts ensure they have “Terms & Conditions of Use” for their website and social media pages created by a Lawyer/Attorney. At the end of the day a company is legally responsible for anything posted on its social media pages, even if by a fan.
When you receive complaints on your social media pages, show your credibility in all interactions. Respond calmly and respectfully. Ultimately it helps boost your reputation both online and offline and your professional standing.
Do you manage social media pages? What are your experiences in dealing with online customer complaints? Do you think I did the right thing? How would you have dealt with it? I would love to hear from you.