Operating a small business can present some unique challenges when handling customer complaints.
Larger companies may have the luxury of a dedicated complaints department, but that doesn’t mean that smaller businesses can’t ace their social medial management, too!
Here’s our 4 key tips to handling complaints on social media so you can achieve a better outcome for both your customer and your business.
Customer complaints can be frustrating, especially when customers are unnecessarily aggressive or rude. However, complaints are a lot more valuable to your business than they may seem.
According to research by Esteban Kolsky, only 1 in 26 unhappy customers will actually reach out with a complaint. The ones that don’t? Well, they simply stop doing business with you. Kind of makes you wish they’d said something.
In short, the most important thing to remember about customer complaints is that they give you an opportunity to identify where something has gone wrong and fix it.
Unlike phone, email and in-person complaints – social media is a public forum. That means that the way you handle a complaint will always be at least partially visible to the public. A record of your interactions with the customer will linger long afterwards and will contribute to how the quality of your customer service is perceived.
As a small business operator, you may be too busy to constantly monitor your social media accounts. To help set reasonable expectations with customers (and direct more complaints to the channels that will allow them to be addressed promptly) you should a develop a Complaint Handling Policy that includes:
Once you have your Complaint Handling Policy, make sure it’s easy to find on your company website and/or social media accounts so more people have access to that information. Being transparent makes things easier for everyone involved.
Most transactions allow you collect some your customer’s contact info (and if yours don’t, you may want to change that). So, why not use that to check in with them after a sale or service? These business services can help you check customer satisfaction:
… Or if you don’t have the budget for any fancy tools right now, just reach out with a text, email or phone call. Checking in shows that you care, so do it whenever you can.
If you’re a newbie or you just feel completely in the dark about customer complaints, never fear. There are some great resources out there to help you get your head around it. Here’s a few of our favourites:
Liked this article? Check out our guide on making the most of your small business presence on social media next.
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