How to deal with angry customers on social media
The reality is this: if you’re a business and you have customers; you will eventually have angry customers.
Addressing their issues may not mean answering emails or the phone—social media has become its own sort of customer service channel.
The stakes are high in dealing with angry customers via your social media channels. The wrong tweet or post can go viral and have you in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Being able to deal with complaints calmly and successfully is a hallmark of effective customer service, regardless of which medium they’re delivered through.
Here are four important steps to keep in mind when responding to angry customers through your social media channels.
Pause, reflect, respond...but quickly
When you receive a complaint, the clock starts ticking. According to research, customers expect a response online within at least five minutes, if not instantly. It’s important though, to take a step to really understand what the person’s grievance is.
Do they have a valid complaint? Are they a potential troll? Not sure?
In some cases, you’ll want to direct more personal requests to a private channel like email or direct messaging. If the best way to proceed is publicly on social media, the next step is to craft your answer.
Talk like a person, not a brand
Empathy is the word of the day when it comes to dealing with upset customers. It’s an essential skill when dealing with people. There’s no situation that’s not made better by just understanding where the other person is coming from (that includes trolls). The key to empathetic response isn’t talking in corporate jargon but talking like a person. The first step in that matter is to learn how to cultivate empathy. In the event your company or organization was at fault, really truly apologize for the situation they are in. Not “I’m sorry this happened” but taking responsibility for what happened. Only after a real apology can you move on to finding a real solution for their issue.
Find a solution that fits
While empathy goes a long way in disarming anger, it is still important to find a solution that fits your customers’ needs. Setting things right is not only a key to good customer service but can pay back through improved customer retention and reduced churn, not to mention the good PR that comes from disarming an upset customer. A sincere apology coupled with a solution that fixes the issue can turn them from a customer into a fan. Unfortunately, the previous three steps are all for naught if you don’t even know what your customers are saying.
Can’t respond to what you don’t hear
One of the more dangerous aspects of social media can be summed up as “what you don’t know can most certainly hurt you”. There is no ‘casual’ social media use when it comes to your brand. If your brand is present on a platform, it should be monitored constantly and consistently for any mentions of your brand or customer complaints or comments. With so many platforms nowadays, it's near impossible to keep up. We at Datalytics24, we make it easy to find and contact the people who are talking about you, positively, negatively, or neutrally, so you can react accordingly.
Dealing with customer service requests or complaints on your social media channels requires a great deal of delicacy or you risk bad press and PR. That’s why it's so important to be ready to deal with requests like these and be aware of any that arise across all of your channels.