How to Manage Social Media Complaints Effectively

Today, nearly 40% of all social media complainers who expect a response, expect that response to arrive within 60 minutes, according to the research conducted by Jay Baer, in his book ‘Hug Your Haters’. Yet, the average length of time for businesses to actually respond is five hours.

The good news is that only about half of the people who complain on social media expect to hear back from the company. So, this actually presents a great opportunity for businesses to outperform customer expectations on both response time and response rate.

Here, we look to outline 6 key steps on how to identify and then manage customer complaints across social media effectively:

1. Monitor All Social Channels

It’s impossible to hug the haters you never see (more from Jay Baer!). So, the first step is to pro-actively monitor all social media channels. We’re not just talking Twitter and Facebook (owned accounts). This means listening across all social channels, including keyword searches, and monitoring review sites.

2. Identify Complaint Keywords

Guess what… not all your haters conveniently use the keyword ‘complaint’. Therefore, you need to build keyword tables that help identify a range of keywords and phrases. You should be able to build pretty complex complaint queries that help you to identify and track complaints, across channel.

3. Workflow to Prioritise Complaints

So, now we’ve identified the complaint, we need to prioritise it and assign it to our complaints team. This is all about giving our social customer care team the very best chance to reduce response time and increase response rate. Build a workflow that automatically identifies a complaint and prioritises a response.

4. Answer the Complaint Publicly

If your customer has complained to you publicly, you must respond back in the public domain. You need to show the rest of the online world that your social customer service is fast and responsive. Do not use canned responses. Instead, personalise your response, show empathy and be transparent.

5. Switch to Private Channels

Complaints are often quite complex and require more than 140 characters to resolve. Aim to switch the conversation to private channels where you can exchange details more securely and look to resolve the issue promptly. If you’re successful, try to close the loop back in the public domain for all to see…

6. Measure your Effectiveness

Another insight from Jay’s book is that 80% of companies say that they deliver superior customer service. But, only 8% of their customers agree! So, look to get a post-interaction CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) survey in place across all customer service enquiries and especially for complaint resolution.

Follow these 6 steps and you’re well on your way to ‘hugging your haters’!