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- 55% of consumers would pay extra to guarantee better service
- 52% have experienced poor service from a big name retailer in the last year
- Ill-informed staff is biggest customer service bugbear
- Young consumers are more demanding; with one in ten 25-34 year olds willing to pay more than 20% extra for improved service.
These 25-34 years olds comprise 52.8% of Facebook users and you would not want to piss them off with poor customer services. If companies want to reap the benefits of online media, then they have to learn how to take the bad with the good. Ignoring customer complaints when and where they happen is similar to playing Russian roulette. You may dodge a bullet once or twice, but the cumulative effect of unanswered complaints will eventually take you out. Apologizing on social media channels is important it is an extremely strategic and effective platform to do so. Here are some tips for where to begin when a customer brings a complaint to your attention:
Take complaints seriously
Respond to a customer complaint promptly and with due attention to convey the message that you take these issues seriously. And make sure it does not look like an automated response, try adding a personal touch. Establish a standard system for logging and handling complaints to ensure that all employees are using a similar approach. You can use your customer management software as part of this system.
Keep calm and don’t make excuses
Avoid engaging in an argument with a customer who has brought an issue to your attention. Instead, take time to reflect on the matter and adopt a helpful and objective approach. Concentrate on offering next steps and potential solutions to the customer’s problem, rather than trying to explain why something went wrong in the first place.
Acknowledge their concerns and offer an apology
Even if you don’t agree with what a customer is saying, it is important to demonstrate you have understood their point of view and apologies to a dissatisfied customer. Even if the situation is not your fault, simply hearing words such as “We apologize for the inconvenience” can go a long way towards repairing a customer relationship.
Be realistic with your promises
If you can’t do something, don’t promise that you will. Only commit to offering realistic solutions to the customer’s problem.
Thank the customer
Very few unsatisfied customers actually take the time and effort to let a business know how they feel (online), it is important to thank them for doing so. If you want to go one step further, you could follow up with a letter down the line that explains how their feedback has helped you improve your operations.
Keep a record
Use your customer management software to keep track of customer complaints and identify potential areas for improvement. For example, if 10 people in the past month have complained that their order arrived later than promised, you may want to focus more resources in this direction or re-evaluate your policy.
Closing the Complaint
Now that you know the issue and what happened, it should be easy to close the complaint. You know your business well, so make the best decision that makes your customer feel that there is closure. There are several ways to achieve this:
- Offer a discount on a future purchase
- Replace the item
- Ask for suggestions
- Just be nice and understanding
And always remember a satisfied and happy customer is your best testimonial.
This post has been written by Nitasha Rana, who works with Convonix as social media marketing professional. Interacting with users on social media on behalf of brands is one of her prime daily responsibilities. Running social media campaigns for B2C clients is her primary area of expertise.