Social media has become the new customer service centre. Not only do people often prefer contacting a company on social media (as opposed to speaking to someone in a call centre), but they also expect same-day feedback from the brand they’re dealing with.
But what happens when a customer complains on social media and these complaints go viral? What if the complaints gain way more attention than they are worth, for something that isn’t even your fault? This becomes an online reputation management issue because it can quickly escalate to a full-blown crisis management situation. Even if you’re not at fault, you need to handle the situation correctly. Here’s what to do:
Don’t down-play the situation
If you want to show the public that you take customer complaints and dissatisfaction seriously, then you need to demonstrate the seriousness of the issue. Don’t down-play the complaint or divert the blame to someone else.
Publish a response
Draft a response on your blog and website that you can refer people to. If the customer is complaining on social media, it could be hard to write a worthwhile response with limited character counts. Also, when you publish a statement, it gives people quotes and comments to refer to and it shifts the conversation away from flinging back questions and comments on social media to a more professional way of communicating about a crisis.
Don’t delete comments on social media
Allow people to express their feelings and complaints. It’s okay to delete derogatory statements, swearing and online abuse, but don’t delete complaints just because it makes you look bad.