How To Handle Social Media Complaints

While we all would love to think we can satisfy every customer in the world, the brutal reality of owning a business is that someone is bound to be unhappy with your product or service. And many times, these unhappy customers will voice their complaints on social media.

Getting a social media complaint can trigger a panicky reaction – and could lead you to make a mistake in your response. So, how do you handle social media complaints? By being prepared for them with a complaint policy!

How To Handle Social Media Complaints

Check out the two-step process below so you can create a complaint policy for your business.

Monitor, monitor and monitor some more

The first step is to create a system where you are monitoring all of your social media accounts every day. Here are some tips to help you do that:

  • Set up Google Alerts with your business name (and first and last name), and make sure to read every email Google sends you.
  • Appoint at least one time a day to review your social media accounts for questions, comments and feedback (including complaints). It’s best to put this time on your calendar so you don’t schedule over it.
  • Determine a customer service standard that dictates how long time will pass before you get back to someone (e.g. 24 business hours).

Your complaint policy

The next step is to brainstorm a list of possible complaints and how you will respond to them. The best way to do this is to open up Microsoft Word or Excel, and in one column, list the possible complaint, and in the second column, list your response. Here’s an example:

Sample Complaint Policy Grid

Notice that each response has three components:

  • An apology
  • An email address for follow up
  • An assurance that the issue will be taken care of

The idea is to respond to the complaint and then move the conversation off social media. You do not want to go back and forth with an unhappy customer. Provide them with a phone number and/or email address so they can discuss their issues with you.

When you prepare for possible complaints, it will remove the panic from the situation and leave you feeling in control of the response. By brainstorming complaints and how you will respond, you will have guidelines that you can refer to at a moment’s notice. Also make sure to monitor your social media accounts at all times (there’s nothing worse than a social media complaint with no response from the business owner). While you may never get a complaint on your social media sites, it’s good to be ready. Completing the steps outlined here will help you be prepared – and give you a peace of mind should a complaint ever come your way.

Photo courtesy of Donnie Ray Jones

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