The Right Way To Complain on Social Media

Social Media Customer Service
Photo Credit: @wdebalt

Social media is a fantastic customer service tool. It definitely beats sitting on hold for hours with a company, waiting for someone to address your concern. With so many companies taking to Twitter and Facebook to address their customer service needs, social media has become one of the best ways to communicate with a company that has left you less than satisfied. But just like anything else in life, there is a right and wrong way to voice your complaints. If a timely resolution is your goal, don’t throw your manners out the window! It’s time for a quick lesson in social complaint etiquette. After all, you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar!

Remain Calm

Don’t lose your cool. Avoid threats or name-calling. It won’t get your problem solved any faster! Always be polite and present your problem is the most neutral terms possible.

Include specifics.

Clearly state your issue and give the brand an opportunity to resolve it. Don’t just message a company to blow off steam or pick a fight – that’s not productive for either party. If you can’t sum up your issue in 140 characters or less, a Facebook Message might be a more appropriate medium. Many brands will ask you to DM them the information, so it is handled privately and to your satisfaction.

Be Patient

In a perfect world, all your complaints would be handled immediately. Yes, social media should be fast, but the reality is immediacy is not always possible. Expecting split-second responses will only set you up for disappointment. Give the brand some time to research and fix the problem. To increase your chances of a prompt response, contact the brand during business hours.

Don’t Troll

Nobody likes a troll, and brands are no exception. Don’t send multiple messages with the same complaint across multiple platforms again and again. If you are struggling to get a response after a reasonable amount of time, it’s okay to send a follow-up message or try reaching out on a new channel. But there’s no need for a tirade.

The bottom line is this – be reasonable and fair. Every company makes mistakes, but the business handles those mistakes is what matters. Social media is supposed to improve brand/customer relationships, not damage them. And if a company resolves your issues, don’t hesitate to give them props! Now that’s a win-win!

Do you have a brand that delivered great customer service to you? Share your story and tag that brand on our Facebook page! For more social media tips, tricks, and best practices, explore our blog or follow us on Twitter!






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KWSM is a digital marketing agency made up of brand journalists. We specialize branding, positioning and ongoing marketing execution in order to generate leads. Our offices are located in Orange County, CA, San Diego, CA, Las Vegas, NV and Atlanta, GA, but we serve clients all over the country. Read More