5 Tips for Dealing with Customer Complaints on Social Media

There are certain ways to go about dealing with customer complaints on social media.

customer complaints on social mediaAll customer complaints are not the same, but there are certain features that are true to every one, and certain best practices that should always be adopted when dealing with customer complaints on social media.

The most important thing to note when it comes these complaints is that under no circumstances should any customer complaint go ignored on social networks. In addition to this one universal rule, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to dealing with customer complaints on social media.

Always Be Courteous

A 2011 survey on Customer Rage conducted at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University found that 90% of complaining customers want one thing above all else: to be treated with dignity. Yet, only 40% said that this is the kind of treatment that they received.

At Zendesk, the philosophy is to treat a complaining customer as you would treat (or, at least, hopefully treat) your grandmother. Kindness goes a long way, because for a lot of complaining customers, they simply want to vent.

Respond Quickly

If I am a dissatisfied customer and I send you a tweet and hear nothing for days I might be tempted to take my efforts to the next level. The same survey mentioned above also found that 88% of people who had a negative experience with a brand chose to deal with their issue by telling their friends about it. In the age of social media, “friends” could mean tens of thousands. So act fast to help your customers or things could get way out of hand.

Be Knowledgable

Have you ever called a customer service line and found yourself waiting on hold every time you ask a question because your service representative doesn’t know the answer? It’s frustrating. Having answers to customer questions and complaints (both on and off social media) is your most powerful weapon, and you should always have an answer locked and loaded when an issue arises.

Be Proactive

The answers and solutions your customers are looking for should be readily available in as many places as possible. If an issue comes up once, you should always assume it will come up again and prepare for it the next time it does.

The faster you can resolve someone’s issue the happier they will be, and a proactive approach to customer service is going to help you do just that.

Use Your Experience

While this is not a method for dealing with a customer complaint directly, it is a means of using these situations for the benefit of your company. Customer complaints are a great way of figuring out where your product or service needs work. It is your product, so for you, it is perfect. For others, that might not be the case.

Adapting your product or service to the requests and complaints of customers is a great way of making your product more user-friendly, and it is going to make your job of customer service a lot easier down the road.

How do you deal with customer complaints on social media? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

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