Dealing with online customer complaints

How to deal with online customer complaints

Are you missing out on valuable feedback & the opportunity to build your digital presence?

With more ways than ever to communicate and interact online, people are naturally going to use such platforms to air their grievances – especially with brands, and what they might perceive to be poor service, low quality, etc.

(A condensed version of an article by Andrew Hutchinson published on socialmediatoday.com 23 July 2019)

This is why word of mouth is now so crucial – in the past, word of mouth was limited to those you spoke to or saw, to your immediate social circles of family and friends with whom you maintained regular contact.

But now, you have access to the various perspectives of many, many more people, some of whom you might not even know personally. And even if you don’t have an ‘in real life relationship’, their opinions can be highly influential in what you’re willing to spend your money on.

That’s also why, for brands, dealing with posted complaints and issues is a must.
Every digital marketing strategy should have some level of planning built-in for how you’re going to deal with negative comments and reviews online – because if you don’t, you’re missing out on valuable feedback, and the opportunity to improve brand perception, and build your digital presence.

Here are the top three things you should do:

  1. Hold yourself accountable
    Empathise, apologise and rise to the occasion. Remain visible throughout the process of resolving a customer complaint. Don’t shy away from the elephant in the room.
    Don’t become defensive when a customer points something out they don’t like or if they are dissatisfied. Remember this is not about you – it’s about the standard of the product or service you are providing.
  2. Respond quickly & appropriately to negative comments
    How you respond to negative comments online can make or break your brand. Respond swiftly so that your customers are reminded of your commitment to providing and producing the best version of your products and services.
    In doing so, always be mindful and strive for calm and appropriate engagement with your onlie community.
  3. Know when to take the conversation offline
    It’s important to be transparent when you are dealing with an online customer complaint. But you also need to recognise when an online exchange is causing more harm than good to your brand and to your desire to prove a willingness to listen & empathise with an unhappy customer.

Read the full article here (and if you read this article to the end, we recommend that your never use humour in dealing with customer complaints as it will always be taken a flippancy, rudeness or just not caring about your customer’s issue.)

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