What's the best way to respond to customer complaints that you might receive on social media? In this video you'll learn some best practices when it comes to responding to your customers. These include not arguing with the customer, being helpful, being the point person, resolving issues on the same channel the customer uses to contact you, and responding quickly.
- Responding to customer complaints is an inevitable part of serving customers via any channel. This video will show you how to do it via social media. In many ways, it's just like any other customer service channel. You want to identify the problem, solve the issue, and help the customer feel better. If possible, you want to find a way to prevent the problem from happening again in the future. One thing to remember about social media is you're not just solving a problem for the customer you're interacting with, you're also making an impression on any other customer who happens to be listening.
With that in mind, I'd like to share a few general principles with you. Principle number one, don't argue with the customer. It doesn't matter if the customer is being mean or if they're completely wrong, arguing with the customer on social media can backfire and make you and your company look bad. Here's an example. This Facebook post is pretty mean. But, rather than arguing with the customer, the person responding tries to help the customer.
That leads us to the next principle. Principle number two, be helpful. Let's look at this example on Twitter where a customer is angry about the meal options on an airline. The airline avoids an argument by acknowledging the customer's feelings and then provides a link to additional information. Now, I doubt this tweet will make that customer completely happy. Seems like they might have just been venting. However, think about all of the other customers with similar concerns who may have seen this tweet.
That helpful link to the airline's menus can help them make better decisions about their in-flight meals before their next trip. Principle number three is to be the point person. This means that you should try to resolve the issue in the same channel, whenever possible. So, if a customer posts a question on Facebook about your return policy, you should try to answer directly in Facebook. If it can't be answered in public, a best practice is to allow the customer to continue the conversation with you in private.
For example, you might need to get some of the customer's personal information so you can look up their account. On Facebook, many companies have set up a special support email address so customers can email the Facebook rep. On Twitter, customers can send the company a direct message that isn't able to be read by the public. This is better than directing the customer to call a 1-800 number, or use some other channel. Think of that from the customer's perspective. Moving to a new channel means extra work. It also means having to explain their problem all over again.
Principle number four is to respond quickly. Generally speaking, companies should respond to customer questions and complaints via social media within one hour. In some industries, such as travel and hospitality, customers may expect even faster responses. A great best practice comes from the airline, KLM. They constantly update their Twitter profile page with their expected response time. This sets clear expectations for how fast they'll respond to customer tweets.
Okay, we've covered four general principles for responding to customer complaints via social media. Now, it's your turn to give it a try. Spend some time listening for customer complaints and then apply these four principles to help them out.
- Identifying key social media platforms
- Communicating with customers in your brand's voice
- Listening and responding to customers on social media
- Listening to customer feedback on review sites
- Making self-service easy for customers