Taking the first step and talking to customers on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or even Trustpilot is not easy. Your company may not have a strong tradition of engaging in dialogue with the public, and there’s always the chance that it could backfire, leading to massive online customer complaints. Fortunately, it’s not as scary as you may think. You can relax; most customers will appreciate your open approach – especially if you take advantage of these 5 tips for dealing with online customer complaints.
Before you can engage in dialogues you’ll need to find out what’s being said about you. Besides getting email alerts when you receive reviews on Trustpilot, there’s a bunch of free services available that you can use to monitor company and brand mentions. Google Alerts is probably the most well-known service: Simply add an alert for the names you want to monitor. Other services will pick up brand mentions faster than Google, but it works well as a starting point.
Nobody is perfect and eventually you will find customers talking badly about you online. So what’s your call? Will you let it go and hope nobody else sees it, or do you enter the ringside and take some hits? Frankly, it’s hard to hide on the web, so closing your eyes and not paying attention can be really risky.
In most cases the customer’s complaint is a sign of an immediate frustration: A frustrated customer hopes to get heard but doesn’t expect it. So a well-timed response to a complaint makes a good impression, while showing other potential customers that you care.
Corporate apologies is a trending business phenomenon. News Corp, B.P. and other corporations that have recently found themselves in dire straits all apologized publicly after they realized how much damage they had done.
But on the internet, sorry just doesn’t cut it. You need to acknowledge the problem and act on it. The customer has had a bad experience and it’s your job to make it better. Being proactive and putting actions behind your words when people complain about you on social networks like Trustpilot can neutralize upset customers and turn neutral customers into ambassadors.
Let’s face it: Some people just love to moan about everything. And a person who is persistently moaning about your company can be hard to get rid of. When talking to customers online you should be aware of potential moaners – or trolls as they are often referred to online. You may have trolls among your customer base, and you’ll find yourself wasting hours of time and good reputation if a troll starts talking bad about you.
That’s why you don’t want to argue online: You can explain facts or describe why the procedure usually works, as long as you tell the truth and don’t leave an opening for further discussions. Just be concise!
Even though many companies do great customer service they often miss out on a great opportunity: If you can go a little further than just solving a problem, your customer will think: “Wow, I didn’t expect that!” It can be as simple as sending a gift voucher or two bottles of wine as a compensation for their troubles. The point is that you show that you care by driving the complaint all the way home. Ultimately, that’s what builds trust and will get people to start talking about you in a positive way.
Are we missing anything? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments on how to deal with customer complaints