Mistakes happen in a busy business, it is a challenge all owners struggle with. However, with easy access to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, little mistakes can quickly become big problems. Monitoring your customer complaints on social media and engaging with their feedback can help you fix mistakes promptly and improve how your business rates in searches.

We know it can be difficult for many busy business owners to be able to manage their businesses and their online presence, so here we provide you with six easy-to-follow tips to help you handle social media complaints:

  • Respond swiftly – don’t wait more than 48 hours
  • Admit mistakes – don’t get defensive
  • Go offline – don’t go back and forth online
  • Personalize responses – don’t automate it
  • Master the art of follow-up – don’t leave them wondering
  • Avoid deleting negative reviews – Try to reach out and improve the situation

1. Customer complaints – respond swiftly

Responding to customers’ social media complaints in the shortest possible time will have the biggest impact. It helps you show them you take their business seriously and other potential customers see that you care which turns negative reviews into positive ones. 

Try replying within 1-2 hours, simply acknowledge that the customer has been heard, and set expectations on how you will move forward. There is no need to provide answers or solutions immediately, just show you care. Let the customer when you will be responding and through what channel of communication. Try to offer the same level of response on all social media channels since your customers will go to the ones they are most comfortable with and you don’t want to miss out on anyone.

2. Admit mistakes

It may seem counter-intuitive, but admitting that a mistake must have been made and you will look into it can sometimes be the quickest bridge to taking an angry customer to a happy one. When you start by offering an apology instead of being defensive, it provides the customer reassurance and makes it easier for you to understand the situation better to find the best solution.

Remember, your apology should be genuine! Don’t make the mistake of using the same apology for all customer complaints on social media, it will make customers even more frustrated. It takes years to build trust, but just a few seconds to lose it.

3. Go offline to continue the converstion

When you are dealing with complaining customers, it’s best to try and take the conversation offline – or at least move the conversation to direct messages, email, or call. Let the customer know you will be contacting them via email, phone, and social media – depending on which channel they left their review on so that they know a solution is in the works and it will give you more time to take appropriate actions. By taking the discussion offline, you can easily talk one-on-one with the person and keep the matter private until a solution is reached.

4. Personalize responses

When agitated customers reach out to you, they want the resolution of their problems immediately. By sending an automated reply, you’ll be adding fuel to the fire. This will give an indication that you haven’t understood the problem and didn’t value customer feedback or suggestions. However, you need to respond to reviews quickly, and as a busy business owner that can be a challenge.

Our solution at Birdeye is to templatize! With templates, you can easily plug in some personalization to a pre-approved template. Here are some tips for your template:

  •         Reply in a conversational tone
  •         Use the customer’s name in the response
  •         Make the customer aware of how you will fix the issue
  •         If it’s your mistake, take responsibility for it

5. Master the art of following up

Responding to customer complaints on social media quickly is only half the battle. Don’t forget the most important part – ‘following up.’ Make sure that you meet the customer’s needs and do your best to solve their problem. This personal approach will let customers feel that you value them. Try to follow up with the customers within 1-2 days of raising the complaint. This not only helps in identifying the early issues, but it’s an excellent way to gather customer feedback regarding their overall experience.

6. Avoid deleting negative reviews

When you see customer complaints on social media, the temptation to delete the negative reviews is understandable. Instead, try to reach out to those who have written it and ask them how you can improve their experience. This shows both the customer you are addressing that you are working hard to regain their trust and show potential clients how far you’re willing to go for your customers.

The customers who write a positive response for your business on social media are likely to recommend your brand to others. Social media marketing is incomplete without proper engagement.  

Wrapping it all up

When it comes to responding to customer complaints on social media, your best course of action is to reply quickly and genuinely. Take this as a unique opportunity to engage with your customers directly and save loyalty. Following these six steps, you can easily set a program for your business that makes it quick to manage your online reputation. Your current customers will be grateful that you value their business and new customers considering you will see that you provide excellent service which will attract them to you.