Mean Tweets! Tips for Managing Customer Complaints on Social Media

Aug 14, 2015

Megaphone being held by hand illustration

You just got a notification that your business received a tweet. Fun! You immediately swipe left on your phone to see what this person had to say only to realize it’s a customer complaint. Oh no! Now what do you do?

Social media platforms essentially supply customers with a megaphone for blasting their complaints about a product or a business in a very public way. Some businesses have found it tough to manage how to respond, let alone if they should respond at all. With each passing year, social media is becoming increasingly valuable as another channel for connecting with customers and has become a major player when talking about providing an omni-channel customer experience.

Whether or not you find it to be a valuable service tool, your customers certainly do: 43 percent of customers expect social media to be integrated with other customer service channels. Many consumers, 67 percent, have used a company’s social media channels for a service related issue.

It’s clear to see that social media customer service is on the rise. Now is your opportunity to answer that tweet and keep a customer. Don’t ignore that tweet – tweet back! Here are some tips for handling customer service issues on social media.


Whatever You Do, Don’t Delete a Customer Complaint
You initial response is to delete the message, but don’t do that. Why? Not only does this invalidate the customer’s complaint, but it makes your account look airbrushed. Even the best of the best have customer issues. Take some time to see how some other businesses in your industry handle customer complaints on social and take note.

 

Don’t Get Nasty
No matter how hateful the tweet or Facebook post was, keep your composure and respond in a pleasant tone. Try viewing a customer complaint as a learning opportunity. Maybe other customers will chime in saying they have had the same issue. Use this as a way to correct a problem rather than taking it personally.

 

Respond Quickly
Consumers who use social media to contact businesses expect a rapid response, and it may be even quicker than you think. In fact, 42 percent of consumers expect a response from a brand within 60 minutes or less, and 57 percent expect the same response time on nights and weekends as they do during business hours. And the clock is ticking from the moment they hit the tweet or post button. Make sure you or your social media manager are set-up to receive notifications from all your social platforms so you can respond as quickly as possible.

 

Don’t Ignore Customer Complaints
If you choose to not respond to your customers on social media, you might as well close up shop. Ignoring your customers on social can lead to a 15 percent increase in your customer churn rate. Ouch. And they can make sure that everyone they know, and everyone they know and so on and so on knows that your business is the worst. In fact, 53 percent of consumers will tell their friends about a bad customer experience. So, don’t ignore them. Customers really hate that.


Find out where your customers hang out on social media and make sure you are there to provide customer care. If you aren’t, there’s a good chance that your competitor has implemented social into their customer support channels. Providing social customer support is just another way of showing your customers how much you care.  

 

Have you implemented social media into your customer service strategy? Tell us all about it in the comments!

Author:

Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones is a content writer and the social media manager for PATLive. She works from her cave, er, her home in Fayetteville, Ark., with her trusty dog and curmudgeonly cat by her side.

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