Written by Emily Moser
When I was completing my undergrad I had the opportunity to work for a company as the social media intern. Part of my responsibilities was to post at a specific time each day to reach our target demographic, go through our page and like each comment, remove any inappropriate content (crude or swear words), monitor conversations, and reply to any emails/messages. One of the biggest things I remember was that we wanted the page to be authentic and professional.
I remember the first time I came upon a post that was a complaint about a product we offered. I asked my supervisor what to do and he advised me to reach out to the customer with an appreciation for bringing the issue to our attention, apologize for the inconvenience and offer a solution. My supervisor said we wouldn’t delete the post because we want our page to be transparent, we don’t have anything to hide, and while issues arise, we will work to resolve and rectify the issue to keep it from happening again.
The great thing about social media is the instant connection and communication we have with each other. As a brand, being engaged online shows that we are interested in the concerns and feedback of our fans and followers.
If you ignore a complaint thinking, if I don’t acknowledge it perhaps it’ll just go away or even deleting it so no one else sees it, you’re not rectifying the issue for the person that commented. In so doing, that customer will get frustrated with the company and may potentially stop purchasing your services and could tell others to do the same. Carole from Seeksocialmedia.com makes a great point, “if a customer were standing in front of you with a complaint, you’d never ignore them, walk away from them, or simply apologize without offering a resolution.” This behavior isn’t acceptable face-to-face and it isn’t acceptable via social media.
Plain and simple, offer great customer service! We’ve all been told, the customer is always right and to keep the customer happy. Therefore, when a complaint or issue arises, you can either provide contact information for the customer service line or start a private message and talk with the individual directly. This will transfer the conversation away from the main page and allow you to help the person in a more personal manner. Keep in mind, that if you direct them to the customer service line you don’t want them to feel that you’re pawning them off to deal with someone else. No good will come from them sitting on a customer service line for hours with no help. So be sure to answer their questions and address their concern the best way you feel it will work for your company and to keep the customer happy. If a disgruntled customer was listened to, apologized to, and have their issue resolved, they’ll become an advocate for your company, celebrating your customer service and recommending others to do business with you.