First, set up the Twitter account with the username yourcompany_complaints, or other name that clearly indicates that if customers have a problem, this is where they should be telling you about them.
Sometimes it can be very difficult to sort through hundreds of tweets, just to find the one that involves a complaint from a customer. To keep this from happening, make sure you set up a Twitter account that is dedicated to issues.
Customers love social media because if they find a problem with your product or service, they can tell you about it right away. They know that instead of waiting on hold over the phone, or writing a letter, they can simply hop onto Facebook or Twitter, leave a message for you, and their concerns will be addressed. However, because they are able to leave a message instantly, you need to do them the same courtesy and make sure you respond immediately. It will only take a minute, and it gives you the chance to keep a customer for life. If you don’t want to be tied to your phone, or you don’t want to be checking your accounts all the time, hire a staff person dedicated to this job.
When it comes time to respond to the customer, make sure that you do several things. First, acknowledge that what they’re complaining about is an actual problem and apologize for it. Then, offer a solution that does not involve something that’s already on your website or social media account. The customer will feel offended that you’ve assumed they haven’t looked into it, or that they have simply overlooked something that’s clearly written out. Doing so will not only show that you’re sympathetic to their situation, but that you actually care and are doing everything you can to right the wrong they have experienced.
No matter how organized you are with keeping your complaints separate, no matter how timely you are in responding, and no matter how much advice and information you give, sometimes there just isn’t a solution. But if you give your customer nothing at this point, they’re going to be even angrier. When this happens, make sure that you offer your empathy and that you also give them something for their trouble. Whether it’s a gift certificate or a discount on their next purchase, they’ll appreciate the fact that you really have done all they could to make their experience a bit better.
Customer service used to be one of the most difficult aspects of owning a business. With the advent of social media today however, it’s actually one of the easiest if you know how to harness it and use it to your advantage.