How to Respond to an Angry Customer via Social Media
The Internet is a place where the impact of words and ideas is magnified, which makes it such a powerful medium for brand awareness, good customer service and social networking. On the other side of the coin, it is also a place where people choose to anonymously vent frustrations with no accountability, sometimes exploding in a rant of comments that they would never dare to make in person.
As you establish and expand your web presence, it is important to strategize how your business will handle this inevitability. As Peter Gasca describes in his article on in Entrepreneur.com, “Clearly, dealing with customer complaints on social media is important, but more important is how you respond.”
Don’t have an online meltdown
Based on how you publicly handle complaints, you can either lose business or gain business. The author gives some humorous examples of companies that got carried away, taking offense at the customers’ complaints and aggravating the situation by responding in a defensive, combative way (losing 50,000 Facebook likes in the process).
Gasca also gives an example of a company that responded appropriately, gaining public respect, admiration and new clients, and how you can pull that off too.
He recommends that you act promptly, but not impulsively. If your emotions are triggered, take a breather and run your draft by a few trusted colleagues who can give a calm perspective before hitting “send”.
Deleting is not effective
Resist the temptation to simply delete a complaint. People have already seen it and are waiting to see how you respond. Censoring a complaint is a hostile response. He says, “Instead, leverage the complaint on social media to demonstrate your business’s ability to calmly and collectively handle the issue.”
For example, during a moment of intense frustration, many people are soothed by a simple acknowledgement that their complaint is valid and you care that they had a bad experience, regardless of whose fault it was. When you respond in a way that takes accountability instead of defending yourself, tensions can be immediately eased.
Gasca suggests saying something like. “We take the feedback from our customers very seriously. We will look into your concern and, if necessary, do what needs to be done to remedy it,” and to invite them to contact you on a customer service line or find information on your site such as FAQ.
The author also suggests that once the resolution has been reached through responding publicly and also personally to the client, when appropriate, ask that client to submit a follow-up post so that everyone can see how the situation was successfully resolved.
To read the original article, How to Fire Back at an Angry Customer on Social Media in its entirety, please visit Entrepreneur.com.