Social media has opened up conversations with businesses like never before and as individuals are able to easily contact their favourite brands with a simple tweet or Facebook message, how do we deal with complaints aired across the internet?
Before the internet, complaints would either have to be made face-to-face or over the telephone. It was a lot easier then to receive the complaint and deal with it head on, however these days it isn’t just a complaint between your client and you, but with the whole of the web.
In these instances it can be infuriating and upsetting seeing someone write negative things about either your business, a member of your staff or you personally, but before you make any rash decisions there are a couple of things to consider before responding to these complaints. Before deleting what has been written on your Facebook page or tweeted to you, firstly take the time to check if it is a genuine complaint.
It isn’t unheard of for people to take advantage of social media to try and get freebies from businesses. The logical thing to do is to offer a goodwill gesture when someone has been mistreated or had a bad experience, however it is wise to ensure that these kind gestures are only going to those complaints of yours who are genuine. You can do this by checking your records and asking the individual to confirm the details of the appointment, such as the date, time, treatment or service they received, and with what member of staff they were seen by. Having these records accessible can make the difference between a genuine complaint and a fake one. Also be sure to keep a record of it for future reference and should there ever be a situation where you need the records for evidence.
The most important thing to do when dealing with complaints is to keep calm. You want to portray a professional image when you are responding to these on social media and you want to ensure that the client is not going to read into what you say the wrong way. It is so easy for things to be misread and misunderstood, so take the time to write your response back. Ideally, you want to be able to speak with the person over the telephone or face-to-face so you can remove the situation from the internet. Therefore it could be a good idea that this is included in your response.
By apologising for the bad experience they have had, you can explain that you would like to take the opportunity to understand what went wrong and how this can be avoided in the future. Also ask if the person can get in touch with you directly over the phone or whether you can take their telephone number to discuss the matter further.
Removing the complaint from social media in this way shows your other clients that you are taking the matter seriously but also that you will go above and beyond to ensure that you can come to a resolution with the individual.
Nobody likes to receive a complaint, however with these little pointers dealing with them doesn’t have to be stressful and can be sorted in the right way.