Social media has many perks for companies and consumers. Companies can get the word out about products, services, and promotions and connect with potential customers, while consumers can reach out and get in touch with the brands they love. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest make it easy for customers to reach out to companies.
Unfortunately, that can lead to negative feedback. At Grasshopper, we have an awesome virtual phone system that we’re proud of, but sometimes customers don’t get what they want, and they express themselves on Twitter. No matter what, we do our best to address their concerns.
If you’re managing the social media accounts for a company, you’re likely to hear from unhappy customers.
Here are a few tips for coping with negative customer interactions on social media:
1. Don’t Delete.
When you come across a negative post, resist the urge to delete it. If you posted something that customers didn’t like, don’t try to cover your tracks by putting your tweets in the trash. If you start deleting posts, customers will notice, and it will make them angrier. Not only will they be upset with your product or service, but they’ll hate your response. Deleting posts add fuels to their fire. Instead, confront the issue and comments head on.
2. Address The Issue As Soon As Possible.
Since you’re not going to delete the posts, you must address the issue. If a customer is complaining about a service, connect them with your company’s support line, or offer them your personal email address so you can help them troubleshoot. Most problems can be fixed quickly if you put your mind to it and keep your cool. Don’t ignore what the customer is complaining about. Here’s an example of how we handled a complaint at Grasshopper:
3. Say You’re Sorry.
Sometimes all anyone wants is an apology, an acknowledgment that they didn’t get what they wanted. Even if it’s not your fault, be humble and say you’re sorry. Often, it’s the customers who will have misunderstood your services, but don’t point fingers. An apology humanizes you, making you into a friend. Customers will appreciate that you’re acting like a human, not a social media robot. No matter the issue, apologize.
4. Gage Your Audience.
Sometimes it’s a troll complaining for the fun of it, and sometimes it’s a satisfied customer who is just looking for some answers, but make sure you determine your audience before reacting to a complaint on social media. If your customers are often volatile, be careful to be as diplomatic as possible. If you already know who the customer is and have a relationship with them, you may not need to be as careful.
5. Find the Silver Lining.
Complaints and comments happen because of customer desires, and it’s your job to relay these wishes to the people in charge. If customers keep demanding that you offer 24/7 support, they’re helping you out by suggesting improvements. By telling you what they want, they’re showing you what your company could provide. Don’t write off negative feedback. Use it for fuel. It can make your business better.
It isn’t easy to receive negative customer feedback on social media sites, but it doesn’t have tp be the bane of your existence. Take precautions and act professional Always remember to be a friend on social media, not a corporate warlord!
About the Author: Emma Siemasko is a Content Marketing Specialist at Grasshopper, the entrepreneur’s phone system, and an avid user of social media. Emma uses her social media savvy to help customers get the best virtual phone system in the world. Emma can be reached on Twitter @EmmaFayeS.