Social media is a truly powerful tool know how to harness the opportunities it offers. On the reverse side, it can break a business if some aspects, such as customer complaints, are not handled appropriately.
Here some things to note and do when handling customer complaints to minimize damage of your brand’s image.
Social media is public
Never forget that social media is public and public opinion is what shapes your brands image.
People will take complaints more seriously than your marketing messages.
People will try to follow your exchanges with a disgruntled customer to note how you responded, the customer’s reaction and how the matter is concluded.
Respond to customer complaints as soon as you can. The longer it takes, the more agitated the client will be and the more the masses will assign blame on your business.
Responding promptly also means you will have the chance to catch the client before she becomes unavailable.
Generally, a response within 10 to 15 minutes is considered quick enough. An hour should be maximum.
Where possible, ask the customer to give you a moment to raise the issue with higher management.
This will give you time to digest the issue and come up with a well-thought and appropriate response. Be sure to tell him when to expect a response.
It is also appropriate to take the conversation offline. This will give you a conducive environment to address the complaint soberly.
Understand the complaint
Get as much information from the customer as possible. The last thing you want to do is hastily jump into conclusions and answer irrelevantly.
Politely ask questions to ascertain the exact nature of problems the customer has with your products or services.
Own up to mistakes
Take the blame where necessary, apologize and promise to rectify it.
Acknowledging mistakes will ensure that the complainant does not go on blaming your company.
Sometimes customers do complain about issues that are actually their fault, not your company’s.
In such a case you may feel the urge to tell them off but you need to resist it.
Whether the customer is right or not, respond to them in a polite and courteous manner.
Have one online customer care rep
It is advisable to have one person respond to customer complaints on behalf of the business.
This minimizes chances of missing out on a customer’s complaint under the assumption that another rep has seen it and will respond.
It also eliminates the need for different reps asking an exasperated complainant to describe the challenges they are having with a product and/or service.
Once you have responded to a customer’s complaints, don’t let the matter end there. Ask if they are okay with your response.
If a replacement product or service was issued, confirm if the client was satisfied with it.