Tips for dealing with Facebook complaints

While it would be nice if people only ever said great things about your product or service, the truth is sometimes they don’t. But they also don’t always tell you how they really feel either. Facebook is an incredibly powerful medium for building a community that supports your business. However, a Facebook page also provides a very public avenue for customers to air their concerns.

Just last week a customer complained on our Facebook wall about the response he received from our call centre, he says he “was told to (just) go to the website.”

Here are a few quick tips for dealing with complaints on your Facebook page:

  1. Don’t delete complaints. Deleting comments can give the impression that you have something to hide. Transparency builds trust and demonstrates respect for your Facebook community.
  2. Evaluate the size of the problem? If you can clear up a complaint quickly, you should. However, if the complaint is an attack on your business, products or services investigate a little further before replying to ensure that you don’t inflame the issue.
  3. Ask for more information. If the complaint is vague ask the person to give more information. Some people aren’t prepared to share specifics on Facebook, providing contact details is a good way to give the person an opportunity to express their concern privately; if you do take the issue outside Facebook be sure to follow up with a comment on your wall once the problem is resolved so others can see the issue has been dealt with.
  4. Respond quickly. Your Facebook page represents your business. The timeliness and tone of your comments gives customers an indication of your business culture. A quick response can also diffuse any further feedback from customers on the same issue.
  5. Remain in communication. Facebook doesn’t close at 5pm on a Friday. It’s important to check in a few times over the weekend and see what comments are being made and respond appropriately.

Critics can become your best advocates. Comments on Facebook can provide valuable insights into consumer sentiment of which you otherwise may not have been aware. Timely and constructive responses can demonstrate the great service your business offers.

Social media does come with an element of risk, but it is not a one-way communication tool.

The customer who complained on our Facebook page last week provided us with valuable feedback and caused us to question why this advice was given and make sure a more helpful response could be delivered next time. I ended up speaking directly with the customer and was pleased to see he followed up with a Facebook post saying “great response and thanks for your help.”

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