5 Ways To Handle Complaints On Social Media

We’ve all worried about the possibility of a complaint or negative review on a social media account at some point. It feels like just a few words from a disgruntled client can ruin the good reputation you’ve worked hard to build over time but here’s the thing…

complaints and negativity can be a fantastic way to prove that you’re great at customer service and your good reputation is more than deserved.

Rather than being afraid of the potential damage, consider how you can turn a negative situation on its head and make something good and positive out of it. Don’t think that’s possible?

Here are the 5 ways you can keep on top of your social media and prevent negative posts from affecting your social media marketing.

1. Check your notifications often

There’s nothing worse than sending a message and not hearing back for several hours. Now imagine that message is about a problem your client has with your product/service and you can imagine that they will quickly take it public when they don’t get a timely reply.

You need to make sure you’re checking your social media notifications often.

Check that you’ve seen all messages, posts and mentions before you sign off for the day, and if you have the time check things every few hours throughout the day to keep on top of things.

If you’re unable to do that, consider outsourcing to a social media manager.

2. Don’t take a complaint or negative comment personally

Angry client yelling down a phone following up a social media complaintIt’s incredibly difficult not to take negativity directed towards you personally but try to think of a complaint as an experience that you can learn from.

Think back to when you’ve had to complain about a product or service; you were probably frustrated, angry and upset but it was around the situation rather than the person or people behind it, right?

Consider how you would want to be treated in your client’s position.

Be compassionate, be genuinely interested in hearing their issues and figuring out how to resolve them and make sure you follow through on what you promise.

If you find it difficult to detach yourself as an individual from your business brand in situations like these, can you nominate an employee or associate to take care of complaints for you? Often outsourcing to a social media manager is great in situations like these, as they represent your business without being a direct part of it, and can often see the “bigger picture” in difficult circumstances.

3. Never delete the comment or review from your social media page

It can be very tempting to delete the comment or a bad review before anyone else can see it in an effort to maintain your good reputation.

Don’t do this!

It doesn’t take long for a bad comment to go viral on social media


Some of your followers will have seen the comment before you have the chance to delete it, so removing it can make it look like you have something to hide. It’s better to acknowledge the issue and show that you’re taking action instead.

Deal with the complaint or comment quickly. It’s better to apologise (even if you haven’t done anything wrong) and advise that you’ll look into it than try to cover things up. Do say that you’re sorry.

Take the matter away from public eyes

Try not to engage too much conversation on the post itself. Once you’ve apologised and said you’ll look into the matter ask them to send you a direct message with more details. This keeps the rest of the complaint private and enables them to go into much more detail than they’re perhaps able to publicly.

Sadly, fake comments and reviews happen.

Leave them in place and follow the same process until you have proof that it’s fake or malicious.

4. Take prompt action to resolve their complaint or concern

Phone open on a facebook profile ready to message about a social media complaintBe prompt in your response once they’ve taken things to DM. They’re willing to work with you to resolve the situation so make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep them engaged. It may take time out of your day, but good customer care is essential for your business reputation.

If you need time to go away and investigate, let them know what you’re doing and give them a timescale for a response. Make sure you stick to this. Even if you have to go back to them and explain that you’re still investigation, ensure they know that they’re of high importance to you.

Once you have all the relevant information go back to them with a solution. This could be a replacement, money off future services, goodwill vouchers, but The Nottingham School of Economics actually found that most unhappy customers value an apology more than compensation.

5. Review your processes to ensure that you don’t repeat the problem

Once the matter is resolved, you need to scrutinise how the problem happened.

If you did make mistakes, what can you to prevent them from happening again?

Was it a case of miscommunication?

Did your client have different expectations?

Take the time to review things now and see where you can make improvements. This is a fantastic learning experience and when you take full advantage of it, can help you take your business to the next level.

Sometimes, complaints can be a good thing even though they feel like a nightmare!


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