May 21 How Brands Should Handle a Twitter Complaint
There are so many benefits and opportunities for brands to market themselves via social media. But, as we all know, sometimes you have to take the bad with the good.
So what do you do when a customer takes to Twitter to complain? The Triangle Business Journal spoke with Jim Tobin, President of Ignite Social Media, about best practices brands should use to diffuse a Twitter attack. This is Jim’s advice:
Move the Conversation off Twitter
You can’t troubleshoot a problem in a series of 140 character tweets, nor can a brand truly understand the full scope of the issue from one complaint. Follow the person and ask them to send a direct message with an email address or phone number at which they can be reached.
If multiple people have entered the conversation, figure out what the issue really is and respond. If you were wrong, acknowledge that and follow up appropriately. If you’re still figuring out what caused the issue, say that. This is the quickest and best way to diffuse the situation and avoid it snowballing into an even bigger issue. If you need to buy yourself some time, simply say, “We are aware of the issue and are currently looking into it.” Then reply as soon as you can.
Connect Your Social Media and Customer Service Teams
Let customer service protocols guide the interaction, not the platform. Brands that address social complaints with free products and giveaways end up encouraging more people to take to social media to complain. Once you’ve transitioned the conversation off of Twitter (as mentioned earlier) funnel the issue to your customer service team.
And, remember, always be genuine and try to help. Sometimes that’s all it takes. Finally: wash, rinse, and repeat.