With the increasing attention brands are paying to their social media channels, more and more consumers and customers revert to those to express their frustrations and dissatisfaction. This is a great thing! Customers now have a way to engage their brands, whether those like it or not. Facebook page “Jordan Customer Satisfaction” for example is growing by the day, and more and more brands are monitoring this group closely and are responding to complaints posted.
Having said that, there’s also a good amount of abuse going on, whether intentionally or not. We have the power of social media in our hands, and with great power comes great responsibility. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when reaching out to brands via social media channels.
Start privately, then escalate to the public
Everbody encounters an unpleasant experience sooner or later. But it doesn’t mean that you should go right ahead and bash a brand in public. Remember, a lot of people will see your post, and it can actually go viral. As such, you can cause some serious damage to a brand’s perception or reputation.
Start by sending the brand you have a problem with a private message. In most cases, you’ll get an immediate reply. You should however wait for 24-48 hours before considering yourself having been ignored.
If after a reasonable time nobody responded to you, send a reminder. Some brands get tons of direct messages and your particular DM may have fallen between the cracks. If you’ve still not heard back from them, post your inquiry on their time-line pointing out that you’ve been trying to DM them to no avail.
If you’re still being neglected, nobody can blame you now for posting your problem with the brand in public. And if you are still being ignored, you should really should really take your business somewhere else as this brand clearly doesn’t care all that much about its customers.
Tag people you know so they can respond
If you come across a post that complains about a brand and you know someone who works there, alert your friend so she/he can respond accordingly or at the very least alert someone in their customer service department.
We’ve seen many posts where someone who had been tagged attended to the issue at hand quite efficiently. The usual response is for your tagged friend to post a reply, asking the complainer to share his/her email address or phone number via direct message so the matter can be attended to.
What usually happens next is once the issue has been resolved, the complainer posts a quick update thanking the brand for having handled his/her issue. All others who participated in the thread get to see that of course as well, and the brand’s perception has just taken a turn toward the positive.
Be polite and don’t make it personal
When you find yourself at the point where you need to post a public complaint about a brand or product, keep it businesslike and leave out the personal stuff. You may be very frustrated at this point in time and inclined to vent your anger, but it’ll only work against you.
Stick to a polite (or formal) language, avoid any insults, and never ever use profanity. Remember, your post might go viral and you don’t want readers to think you’re on a personal vendetta. Stick to the facts and be accurate. Most likely, what you’re writing will be investigated thoroughly at the other end, and you don’t want an exaggeration or misrepresentation you made to be held against you.
Verify before you share
Sometimes, people share and repost complaints made by others. This is how stuff goes viral, but you have to be careful. A great deal of what gets posted isn’t always true or entirely accurate, and you may end up aiding someone’s personal campaign against a brand by spreading false or misrepresented information.
If you’re inclined to share, do some research, dig in, and only forward once you feel comfortable with the source and content of the information you’re about to share. In general terms though, our recommendation is to post a reply or comment, but not to share further by reposting. The original plaintiff will take of that part on his/her own.
Don’t forget to write about the good stuff
Last but not least, social media channels are not only suitable to post problems and complaints; they’re also a great opportunity to share positive experiences you may have enjoyed.
You’ll reward the brand for an exceptional product or service, and give credit where credit is due. Plus, you won’t be perceived as someone who constantly complains about this or that in life. This in turn will give your posts higher credibility and readership.
We’ve often posted articles about a particular service we’ve enjoyed on Facebook group “Customer Service in Jordan”, and we can assure you that the number of likes we receive on positive posts always exceed those yielded by complaints by far.
About the Author
Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges. Website | Facebook | Twitter
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