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How To Handle Complaints On Social Media

Poor Customer Service Evaluation FormSocial media users love to complain. Sometimes I think that the sole purpose of many is to complain. I have to admit, I too am guilty of throwing the negatives out there for the world to see in hopes that the company who “wronged” me will make things better. We all do it.

As a business owner a complaint can sting. Luckily we can handle it publicly and change the way the customer feels about us.

If you don’t know why you should respond, you should read this article that I wrote.

First of all, we need to get into the psychology of those who are writing reviews and commenting online. Despite what you might think, it’s not to harm you.

  • For 87% of people, altruism inspired their reviews.
  • 47% of people write reviews to “help others decide.”
  • 18% of people felt a responsibility to return the favor because they believe reviews help them decide on what product to purchase.

4 Steps To Handling A Complaint Like A Saint

1. Come Up With A Clear Strategy Before Hand
This is something that you need to have a system for. When people say things online that can potentially hurt your reputation what will you do? You need to figure out what types of things you will respond publicly to, what types of things you’ll take offline, and what types of things you’ll ignore all together.

2. Come Up With A List Of Possible Scenarios & Responses
Think of every single question or complaint that has ever been brought up and store them in a document that you can come to later. Underneath each complaint have a response ready or a link ready to point the complainer in the right direction.  This will help you monitor which complaints come up the most and if you are ever hiring or firing someone you know where to find the answers for quick response.

3. Define Who Will Deal With Customer Complaints Online
Will you be the one responding? Will it be an employee? Whoever will do the responding it needs to be clear so that nothing falls through the cracks. This is important. If you ignore the wrong person for too long a storm could brew and be potentially disastrous to your reputation online.

4. Respond Quickly
Most people expect a response within an hour. Yes, we social media folk are demanding aren’t we? Obviously complaints during the middle of the night can wait until morning, but if you are hearing things during business hours, it should be taken care of as soon as possible.

How do you respond to nay-sayers on social media?



Stephanie Frasco is a leading social media marketing consultant. Over the past 7 years, she has worked closely with clients from all over the world to help each of them get more results from online social networks. Through experience, Stephanie has mastered some of the most powerful social media websites. Today, Stephanie provides exclusive social media consulting services to a handful of global clients.
  • Marketing Bees

    I think the worst thing you can do in this case is to argue and be rude to those unsatisfied customers. Those bad moves will spread around internet much faster than some good things you’ve done and it can really hurt your reputation

  • chatmeter

    We definitely agree with Marketing Bees! Studies have shown that one bad review can lead to the loss of 30 customers. How the company handles the complaint can really affect this. Like Marketing Bees points out, handling the situation poorly can really damage a company’s reputation. Instead, companies must decide which reviews to respond to publicly and which to respond to privately. In either case, they must be respectful and genuine and detail how the problem will be rectified. By doing this correctly, companies can take a negative review and actually increase their brand reputation.