Earlier we tweeted about the four Ds on handling complaints on social networks. I was asked if we could expand on this and clarify what this actually means.
So here it is! The 4 Ds of social media complaint handling.
We have mentioned on numerous occasions the importance that complaints have on your business – how to learn from them, what to do with them and why not to ignore them. This basic framework gives an idea on what we can achieve through effectively handling a complaint and turning it into something positive.
Make sure you take a screen shot of the complaint, or file it away by some other means. It is not only important to have proof of what was said in case it is escalated, but also means an opportunity to track common complaints and the process used to handle them. You will be able to find the gaps in your business through this channel.
Do not delete negative comments
Deleting negative comments is a big no no – naughty you for deleting them! This is, of course, unless it goes against an acceptable use policy i.e., racist, derogatory, pornographic, etc. You have given customers the opportunity to use social media as an avenue to complain. Deleting comments will not only annoy the customer, it will also raise questions and not look positive to your followers. In fact, it might even create more complaints!
Word travels fast on social networks, so make sure you respond as quickly as you can. This means hours, not days or weeks. This could be as simple as asking for the customer to PM (private message) you their details so you can get in contact to deal with the matter. You should have set benchmarks for replying to complaints through every channel, not just social media – but, this is a blog for another day.
Deal in the open
Don’t just contact the customer directly. Make sure you acknowledge on the same platform. Other followers will then see you are open and transparent, and are listening to their concerns. You don’t have to give every detail (of course nothing confidential) in public. Make sure when it’s resolved you reply in the open demonstrating you take action. Most of the time you will get a thank you in response if you handled it well. Always follow up. And if it’s not resolved, follow up again. Customers become very aggravated when you say you will do something and don’t, then there’s another post with a more angry complaint!
Make sure you actively look for complaints on the web. Using tools like Google alert is a good way to monitor your reputation. It also gives you an opportunity to reply to complaints you may not usually be aware of.
Bye for now,
The Creative Craftsman
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.