We have a different type of post for you all today - we’ve about talked about SEO, creating effective content marketing strategies, ambassador marketing and so much more. However, in all of this, and as we are a social media agency, after all, we thought it would be worthwhile looking at the different ways of handling customer complaints online.
In a time where communication knows no bounds and with the increase in online interaction, people have become inclined to use social media platforms to air their frustrations or praises about various brands.
Previously, if perhaps an individual had an issue with a brand, that may be a discussion they would have with their close social circle. However, now word of mouth has become “world of mouth” and that social circle is now their social media followers. Whether or not you know them, their opinions can be very influential in the way others see your brand. Therefore, it’s imperative that as a business, you deal with customer complaints and issues. This is also a significant part of any marketing strategy - there should always be some level of planning that addresses how negative reviews online will be dealt with. This is why we have come up with five different ways to handle customer complaints.
1. Hire a social media manager
Not just any social media manager but one that is very knowledgeable. Your social media manager is practically the voice of your brand - so anything they communicate whether positive or negative could enhance or degrade your brand.
Ensure that your social media manager understands your brand’s core values and that they are able to adopt them whilst communicating to your audience. Also, it’s important to add that your social media manager needs to form your brand’s online personality - this should be evident throughout all your posts. This way, your brand will be easily recognisable in the midst of many.
2. Hold yourself liable
As the saying goes, “the customer is always right”, so no matter the complaint, ensure that you don’t get defensive. Instead apologise, identify with their dissatisfactions and offer to make amends.
Also never try to avoid the issue at hand, be present throughout the complaint process as the lack of it could insinuate the standard of the product or service that you offer. On that note, it’s vital that you always respond to complaints swiftly and suitably - and always remember to be mindful and calm in the process.
3. Know when it’s time to go offline
By going offline, we mean taking the conversation offline. Transparency is very important as is discernment.
The continuous back and forth between you and a consumer really doesn’t offer much honour to your brand. Instead, kindly suggest to the customer they should perhaps direct message you, call or you can even send them an email addressing their complaint in more detail. This shows your willingness to resolve the issue at hand privately and respectfully.
4. Monitor what people are saying about your brand
It’s always nice for your brand to have an idea of what they can work on - whether those things are directly or indirectly said to you.
You can use a brand tracking service for this, that way you can study accounts and be aware of the conversations surrounding your brand (even when you are not tagged in them).
5. Respond with humour
Sometimes a funny meme or GIF or phrase can ease the situation and make a customer less likely to directly complain.
If your customer finds the response funny, this should change their mood and make the issue easier to resolve.
We hope you’ve seen the importance of this part of a marketing strategy. If your brand hasn’t addressed this element, now would be a perfect time to do so. If you don't, you will be missing out on profitable feedback, and the opportunity to build your digital presence and enhance brand perception.