Complaints are something that every business will have to deal with at some point but, for some reason, a complaint on Twitter brings out the fear in many a managerial team.
Complaints via social breed the notion that as soon as someone says something negative about your company, it will go viral and open the flood gates for hundreds of people to jump on the “yeah they’re rubbish” bandwagon and, before you know it, your business will be sat moping on the side of the M1 with a satchel of office supplies being jeered at by passing motorists.
This is a highly unlikely outcome.
If you get a specific complaint via social channels, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Treat it in the same way you’d treat any complaint e.g. reply to the person to let them know that you’re dealing with it and pass the details onto a customer service manager for call back/email response.
@AskHalifaxBank provided a good example of this:
“Good LORD @askhalifaxbank how can 1 company make SUCH a mess of Isa transfers? I’m on hours of phonecalls, branch visits & still not sorted.”
Minutes later @AskHalifaxBank responded. It forwarded her details directly to a member of the customer services team and asked them to contact the customer directly. It ended by saying: “If we can help with anything in future, feel free to tweet.”
Pick your battles
Be aware that there are some people out there who do just enjoy firing off abuse at brands regardless of whether they actually have a problem so it’s important to pick your battles. If you feel there is a genuine cause for response, whether it’s a mistake on your behalf OR a misunderstanding by the customer, then respond in kind.
Don’t be afraid of complaints
Complaints can be a mixed blessing as a lesson in PR. If you receive them (and all companies will at some point) and you are open and honest with your response and eventual resolution, you could then turn those complaints into brand advocates, all under the watchful eye of the public.