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Turning Complaints into Great Customer Service on Social Media

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It can be discouraging when you find customers leaving negative reviews online or negative comments on your social media, but the way your company handles those instances tells people far more about your business than the negative remarks.

Customers rely heavily on social media and review sites when they make buying decisions, and those customers have become adept at reading between the lines. They don't expect to find a business that has zero negative reviews, in fact, they are likely to view that with suspicion. What they want to see is a brand that is proactive in correcting issues, and builds an impression of caring for the members of its social media following.

Never Try To Silence Complaints

There are many reasons not to delete negative comments, but one of the most important is that disgruntled customers are more likely to share their negative experience with your brand than they would be to share a positive experience.

Another important reason not to silence complaints is that many consumers will attempt to contact you through social media to correct a problem before they resort to leaving a negative review. Good customer service, especially on social media, is about providing prompt resolution, not about ignoring problems and hoping they go away.

What Is Good Customer Service On Social Media?

There's a big difference between social media marketing and social media support, and many businesses are falling far short of customer expectations in terms of customer support on social media. A current study of brand interaction on social media found that 89 percent of all social media messages from customers to brands are never answered. When it comes to complaints or negative reviews, 52 percent of customers expect a reply from the brand within seven days, 25 percent expect to be contacted within three days, and 21 percent demand an answer within 24 hours. How do you meet these expectations and turn these situations around?

1. Stay On Top Of Reviews And Posts

By staying current on what people are posting to and about your company, you can more effectively head problems off, and build brand loyalty by responding to both positive and negative comments. People like to see brands that are actively engaged with their followers and they hold a more favorable opinion of companies that take the time to interact, instead of just pumping out marketing content while turning a deaf ear to the people who follow them. 

2. Direct The Conversation

When you are responding promptly to complaints, you prevent complaints from growing into negative rants, and you are taking the opportunity to direct the conversation in a way that benefits your brand, while offering resolution. When you find a complaint post, publicly apologize and let the person who is complaining know that you will be happy to discuss and resolve their situation with them, and you will be contacting them privately, right away. Then follow up immediately. If the person is a real customer with a genuine issue, you can work with them to solve their issue and make them happy. If the person is a troll who just wants to stir up trouble, you've set a public scene where they will discredit themselves by continuing to complain after you have been attentive and reasonable.

3. Ask For A Follow-Up Comment

After you've resolved a customer's complaint, ask them if they are willing to post a simple follow-up comment to their original post, stating that the complaint was satisfactorily resolved. It doesn't hurt to ask, and if you've done a good job of turning the situation around, many people will write highly positive follow-up comments. That is social promotion that money simply can't buy.

Active Management Turns Social Media Complaints To Success Stories

Take an active role in your social media, and your customers and prospects will not only notice and appreciate it, but they'll tell their friends. Once you realize that social media needs to be a conversation, not a monologue, everything begins to fall into place. When you respond promptly to questions, and to praise and complaints, you can take full advantage of the opportunity to turn even negative comments into a winning scenario for your brand.

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Social Media Marketing, Customer Service
Nicole Gosz

Article by Nicole Gosz