Social media have made it much easier to get heard. You can now instantly reach thousands of people to share information, engage, and entertain them. But the thing is social platforms are a two-way communication channel. Your audience wants to use them to reach you as easily and instantly.

Social media are a great way to not only reach someone fast, but also express your opinion publicly – whether it’s positive or negative. That’s why you will eventually see that your social media marketing and your customer service get more and more interconnected. Is that a good thing, considering that anyone can leave negative feedback about your brand for thousands of people to read? Well, it is, provided that you handle it the right way. Social platforms can actually help you provide better customer service, and here’s what you should do for that.

Don’t Get Rid of Negative Feedback

Sometimes you will get negative comments from customers, dissatisfied with the product or service. Your first urge may be to just delete them so that they don’t ruin your reputation on the web. This is a mistake: your dissatisfied customer will get even angrier because of you trying to hide the information they posted, and is likely to spread the word within their network (to say nothing about the fact that you’ll lose the customer once and for all).

Instead, respond to the feedback publicly, ask what you can do to handle the problem, or suggest a solution. Your other customers need to see that your goal is their satisfaction.

Don’t Get Personal

Naturally, you are hurt by the negative comments, especially if they are not fair or expressed in a hostile and rude form. Nevertheless, you can’t afford getting emotional and starting an ugly online argument, because that will immediately reflect on your reputation. You need to remain professional and resolve the complaint without losing face.

Respond Quickly

One of the reasons why people address brands on social media is because they hope to get response faster than, say, if they call the customer service line. According to Oracle, most Twitter users expect a response within the next few hours, and half of Facebook users – within the same day. That’s why you need to keep a close eye on your social media accounts and respond as soon as possible.

Be Proactive

If you have discovered a certain problem with your product or service, be sure to inform your customers about it before you start getting complaints. Let them know what the problem is, how it is being handled, and when they can expect a positive result. That way, you will show your brand listens to the customers and cares about their experience with the product.

Another good way to demonstrate that (as well as getting a lot of ideas for improving your product) is holding regular feedback sessions. Let your customers share their positive and negative experiences. So that you can detect problems before they result in a serious complaint.

Redirect Complaints the Right Way

Some complaints cannot be handle right there on your Facebook page. You might need more details or want to redirect the customer to a technical support representative. To do that, you should not only contact the customer privately and ask for their email or phone, but also respond to their comment publicly, so that your audience sees the problem is being addressed.

Social media is an important factor that shapes your online image. It is widely known that people tend to share their negative experiences more often than positive ones. If you learn to handle those complaints the right way, you will both maintain a great online reputation and improve your customer service.

Now, do you often get feedback from your customers on social platforms? How do you handle complaints? Feel free to reply in the comments section.