This is going to be a very short post, however it contains a piece of advice that I feel any brand/organisation etc that communicates with customers via social media should take on board…
I’m often asked how best to deal with a public complaint, usually with Twitter and an ‘@’ message as the context. Let me break down my typical response:
1 – You need to (quickly!) respond, apologise and give the complainer the opportunity to give you further info. This may well take place in a number of public tweets, and you have to be ready to communicate that way.
2 – Ideally, you will take the complaint away from the public eye as quickly as possible. On Twitter, this would mean switching to DM (direct message). Remember the need for a mutual follow!
3 – Once in DM, offer the complainer the opportunity to contact you via email or phone, but be prepared to play the conversation out within direct messages.
4 – Once the customer is happy that the issue has been resolved, get back to them via a ‘@’ message telling them that you are glad that you were able to help them and that you look forward to their custom/assisting them in the future.
Why should you do this? The primary reason is that it shows onlookers that you’re serious about serving people via social media and offer a high level of customers service. A simple and non time-consuming task that goes a long way to building trust. Remember, with the right treatment, a customer who has had a bad experience can become an advocate for your business.
Bonus tip – If you’ve had a DM conversation with a customer and therefore are following them, don’t unfollow them after the issue has been resolved, it creates a barrier for future communication instigated by the customer.
Do you like this approach? Got a tip to share? Please feel free to comment.
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Image used under creative commons and via uncafelitoalasonce on flickr