Dealing with Social Gremlins and Social Media Customer Care

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Part I in our Halloween 2015 blog series.

Handling social media customer care may seem frightening - public posts with angry comments about your business are hard to control and can feel like a personal attack. Consider this - those customers will be online complaining about you, no matter what you do or whether you have a social media page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. What matters is how you respond to change their experience and perception of your business.


5 Steps of Customer Care

1. Check In

Do this once daily during office hours. Set a time when you drink your morning coffee to check for any new messages or notifications. Make your goal to respond within 24 hours of a business day. If you make a habit of morning responses, this will be easy!  Facebook will show you how fast you are at responding – and reward you for quick responses with a badge!

2. Assess

Don’t react emotionally. Most people posting complaints want to be heard and felt that their feelings are considered carefully. Read their post thoroughly and assess what they’re really after. Is the customer in a current situation you can improve, or are they looking for compassion about their previous negative experience?

3. Respond

This is important to do quickly, even if addressing their complaint is complicated. Easily fixable complaints are a great opportunity to show your brand personality and customer service skills online. Respond directly to their post by name and work through the problem on your page. Use humour if appropriate and keep your tone bright and friendly.

Take serious complaints or allegations “offline” quickly by responding with a message along the lines of “Hi, I’m sorry to hear about your experience and we would like to work with you on this.” Ask the customer to email their complaint or provide a phone number so you can work with them personally outside of your social media page.

4. Take actions

Solve the customer problem. This may be an apology phone call for their incorrect room or “cold” meal, or locating an item lost on your premises, or something as simple as letting them know you will take their feedback into consideration.

5. Follow up

Post to your page with a resolution of the conflict/complaint. Thank them for bringing the situation to your attention, because customer experience is important to you!

What about Social Gremlins?

Also known as “trolls,” some people go onto channels just to complain, or to try and get free products/services without justification. There’s nothing you can do to make them happy. These customers will eventually get bored and stop posting to your page, but the important thing for you to do is that single response, where you’ve calmly addressed their post once or asked them to contact you offline. If they continue to post, LET IT BE. They will abandon posting eventually and you’ve demonstrated your attention to them publicly. Any additional responses from you will feed the argument.

Social media posts are a public record, so maintaining your customer service presence online shows the public that you handle challenges with grace and goodwill!

Need further help with handling your social customers? Get in touch with us today.


Ashley Harding  |  Social Media Manager

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