How Do You Handle Tough Customers on Social Media?

  • By Anthony | Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Customer Service on Social Media

They’re not happy, and everyone is watching to see how you respond. What’s the best way to respond to an agitated customer on social media?

As more people spend more of their time on social networks, businesses have become obligated to have an active social media presence. One of the consequences of this shift towards more transparency is that your organization will have to handle customer service in a public forum.

We’ve asked our own Customer Care department to figure out the best ways to apply their friendly, patient approach to customer service concerns on social media.

1. Listen to the customer. This may seem obvious, but you absolutely need to make it clear in your response that you understand their concern (and it helps to genuinely try to understand it). Boilerplate responses repeated to multiple customers may stoke even more impatience from a group of customers who are expecting a quick, direct reply.

2. Monitor your social pages. It’s best to monitor related hashtags or key phrases about your event on Twitter, while you should pay close attention to your organization’s official Facebook Page or event pages. You want to catch and respond to negative comments as quickly as possible. You can use monitoring tools such as HootSuite or Google Alerts to monitor multiple threads at once.

3. Focus on the problems you’re able to fix. In the most stressful situation, a flood of negative comments may become overwhelming — remember that you don’t need to respond to everyone. Look for comments and concerns from customers who have experienced technical issues, human errors and other genuine problems. Don’t feel obligated to reply to trolls, unreasonable or vulgar comments, or generic complaints such as “I wasn’t able to get tickets before it sold out!”