How to handle customer complaints on social media

how-to-handle-customer-complaints-on-social-mediaIt’s inevitable in business. Now and again you’re going to do something that annoys a customer and they’ll want to complain about it.

Dissatisfied customers used to pick up the phone or pen you a stern letter to air their grievances. But now it’s easier, and perhaps more satisfying for them, to jump onto social media and give your business a good ear bashing in full public view.

It’s like your dirty laundry hanging out for the world to see.

Fret not! You can take steps to improve the situation. Here are some suggestions for dealing with those unmentionables.

DO…

DO keep your virtual ears open for signs of discontent

Monitoring what’s being said about your business online will give you valuable insights in general, but it will also alert you to customer issues that need addressing.

Check your social networks for new comments every day and sign up for free tools like Google Alerts and Social Mention so you watch for conversations across the wider web.

DO keep any negativity in perspective

People are more likely to shout out when they’re unhappy than when everything is just fine. See a negative review or comment as an opportunity to improve and impress.

DO respond quickly

As soon as you’re aware of a problem, jump in and respond. The longer you leave it, the more disillusioned the individual may grow as they feel you’re not listening to them.

DO take action

Unhappy customers don’t just want an apology – they want to know how you’re going to fix their problem. If you’ve mucked up, apologise sincerely and explain what you are going to do to rectify the situation. Show them you’re human and show you care.

If the complaint is a misconception, reply with polite but factual information.

DO take the conversation offline if you need to

Once you have publicly acknowledged the feedback, take angry or aggressive customers away from the public forum and resolve their issues by phone or email directly. You can return to the public forum once the issue is resolved to post a friendly follow up.

DON’T…

DON’T ignore or delete negative comments

You’ll infuriate an unhappy customer if you ignore or delete their feedback and this can lead to further aggravated remarks. Reply to negative comments openly and respectfully and only delete comments if they are actually offensive or illegal.

DON’T get emotional

Whilst it’s natural to feel defensive when your business is under attack, put your emotions aside whilst you deal with the complaint. Try to understand that your customer is just disappointed because you didn’t meet their expectations in some way.

DON’T keep your strategy for handling complaints to yourself

Make sure any of your staff that may be exposed to negative comments about your business understands how you want them handled.

Overall, focus on giving your customers a great experience. Lessen the likelihood of negative feedback by always putting the customer first. After all, prevention is better than cure!

Getting to know your customers

getting-to-Know-Your-CustomersWe love adding new stuff to Spiffy Stores, and we’re pleased to announce that we’ve just finished putting the final polish on a brand new feature.

When you manage your online store, there’s obviously lots to think about in terms of products, inventory, prices and shipping. But until now, there’s been an important part missing from this equation – your customers!

As ever, we’re anxious to make sure we’re providing you with the very best tools and support to help you run your ecommerce venture successfully and to make lots of money, so we’ve done something about this. From today, you’ll see a new tab in your Spiffy Stores Toolbox, right next to your ‘orders’, called ‘customers’.

Click on this and you’ll be taken to an overview list of all your customers and you’ll see options to sort and filter your customer list, so that you can easily see who’s ordered what, how much they’ve spent and where they are located. Add to this our fantastic new custom search filters that let you create and save your own searches, and you’ll soon see these as an indispensable part of your marketing armoury.

There’s much more detail about this new feature in our Knowledge Base at http://www.spiffystores.com/kb/Information_about_your_customers  so we recommend you have a quick look at the documentation to see how this can help you better understand your customers.

But wait, there’s more! This is just phase 1 in our rollout of our new customer-related features. Be on the lookout for some exciting new additions to your Spiffy Store in the coming months.