Today I was asked to remove a tweet I had posted about my letting agents. In those 2 tweets, I complained about their customer service. In this day and age the first place millennials go to vent their frustration with brands is twitter. Needless to say, I didn’t really like being asked to remove the tweets.
So here’s a lesson on how to handle your social media complaints properly. I’ll write about what happened to me, and how they should have managed it properly. This is;
Social Media Complaints 101
1. Respond quickly and publicly.
When I tweeted the letting agent, there was no response. I tweeted during their opening hours, but it wasn’t until the next day I received a desperate voicemail (in which she didn’t mention the tweets, but did ask me to call her back.) A simple reply on twitter would have sufficed.
Make sure whoever made the complaint knows the problem is being handled. This also sends a strong message to anyone else who can see the post. This is doubly true on Facebook, where everyone will see the reply. They’ll know you, as a brand, are in control of it.
When we got down to the root of the problem, the nice lady on the phone informed me that she didn’t know what had happened before, so it therefore wasn’t her fault.
This is so important. You have to apologise, even if you know you’ve done nothing wrong. The customer is always right. And don’t ever try and shift the blame, whether its onto a different department, or a different service. You look like cowards. Own up to your mistakes. Again, this is about being in control and handling the situation.
3. Make it right.
In all fairness to her, she did say she was dealing with it as quick as possible and that she was sorry. So that was nice to hear. However, when I brought up the option of money, she completely ignored me and moved onto a different topic.
Apologising is all very well, but you need to make it right. How you fix the problem is the real way to not only win over the injured party and critics, but to also turn this negative into a positive. Broken kettle? We’ll fix it. Crap food? Next one’s on us. Make 100% sure you fix the problem.
4. Don’t get into a fight.
I must admit, I was very fired up during this call. I was ready for a fight, and not following the previous 3 steps only made it worse.
You’ll just end up looking petty. People who get into fights on the internet always look like jackasses, even if they win. It’s often tempting to feel like this is a personal attack on you, but remember if you are defensive, that’s exactly how the already agitated customer will feel.
5. Don’t try and silence them.
Towards the end of the call – but I later realised had been the whole point of the call – she asked me to remove the tweets. This is what frustrated me the most. Twitter is a place of free speech and if I’m not happy with a product or service, I’m absolutely going to tweet about it. The fact that she asked me to take it down made me steel my resolve and keep the tweets up.
Don’t ask someone to remove a negative comment or post. This will exacerbate the problem and add fuel to the fire. Getting things removed or deleted only brings into question your integrity as a brand, and makes it seem like the complaint was valid. Nobody likes a Streisand Effect either.
To me, and probably to some of you, these are fairly basic steps. But to some, this might as well be the holy grail. So read up, absorb, and make sure the next time you encounter a tweet about your customer service, you follow this step by step plan. I’m looking at you, lettings agent.