5 Tips to Help You Handle Social Media Complaints Efficiently

By  | 

social media

It is never easy dealing with people who are complaining about your service or product, whether it is offline or online. It is always tricky dealing with unhappy customers, especially considering the fact that they can quickly sour your business reputation when you handle the issue poorly.

It is best to be prepared for situations such as these since you cannot avoid them entirely. The best thing about handling them positively is that it will draw in more customers to your brand, and increase overall engagement in the long term – you will not even need to contact igautolike for likes on Instagram free, for instance. This is because more people will see you are handling your brand seriously, and they will be more inclined to become loyal customers.

Basic framework for solving complaints

The best way to solve these issues is through the acronym: F.E.A.R.S.:

  • F – Finding all the mentions you have
  • E – Empathy
  • A – Answering these questions publicly
  • R – Replying only twice
  • S – Switching channels

Note that the acronym does not include ‘fast’ replies, because it rarely works – unless you live your entire life on social media and are looking into your notifications as soon as they come in (which never happens). In fact, a study shows that 40% of people who post complaints on social media expect a response within an hour, yet the average time businesses respond is five hours. Reducing this gap is critical, which is why it is important to study this acronym.


 Finding your mentions

If you have haters that you never see or interact with, you cannot hug them even if you wish to. When we were still highly dependent on telephones or phones, you knew that your business is called when you get a notification for missed calls or the caller left a message. The same is the case for emails – you will know they are there because the notification will appear on your tablet, computer, laptop or phone.

However, the case becomes tricky when you are dealing with social media complaints, because you cannot find them easily. The same case applies to any online customer complaint.

If you are seeking to improve the rate of customer satisfaction from online customers, then you might want to consider investing in software that listens to social media conversations. This will make it easier to find all feedback from social media mentions you have, especially when your company s quite large and you cannot track all mentions manually.


Show empathy

Even though social media haters know the chances of you responding are low, understand that they are only seeking an audience that will talk to them. Because of this, they will increase their stakes, and take their complaints publicly and get affirming responses from people who read their posts, and tell them they are right for complaining.

The complaints can use any form of language to show their anger, even outrageous. As long as they make the audience angry and responsive, they will have a chance at making you angry, then you will respond angrily – even saying things you regret, simply because you were caught up in the moment.

The key here is to have a way to maintain composure even in the face of complaints and scathing comments or hire people that can do so. You do not need to suck up to the angry customer either, but you should at least acknowledge that you have heard them, and apologize.

In addition, beware of posting responses that seem robotic and scripted – you will only succeed in making your business look more impersonal and drive customers away.


Answering publicly

This is a very important part of handling complaints on social media – you have to keep in mind that there are onlookers checking how you will respond. Regardless of whether you are responding to positive comments or handling complaints, you must respond in public so as to give a face of transparency and increase trust.

You must also endeavor to look professional to the customer, and that involves answering their queries in public so that you do not confuse them. The spectators will assume you never replied either, and that only succeeds in leaving a bad impression.

You can use creative responses to customer questions as well. This will go a long way in adding empathy and humanity and leads to a better response from your audience.


Replying only twice

If you are responding to a complaint and the person on the other end decides to respond with a negative statement or criticism, then do not fall into that trap of further arguments with them. they are likely seeing you as a punching bag and want to bully you into giving in – and that is where responding twice comes in.

The rule here is: never reply more than twice to one person in a conversation. Otherwise, you risk going down a hole of negativity and hostile replies. In fact, you do not even need to respond more than once when dealing with haters, just show them that you have listened, and are solving the problem.


Switching channels

Because social communication tends to be very short, it is not possible to answer customer questions extensively, especially when considering the rule of only replying twice. In addition, there are instances you might need to talk with the customer more, especially when asking for sensitive information such as their account numbers – which you cannot do in front of the crowd.

In cases such as these, it is wiser to make a public response first to acknowledge the customer’s complaint, and then switch to a different channel to talk with them privately. While this increases the burden of communication costs to you, it will be easy to implement because many businesses use services that allow for this functionality.

In particular, this is a common feature on Twitter, although other platforms are working to implement the same.



Handling customer complaints requires you to use nuanced communication and wise handling, as people are observing your business and how you respond to negative feedback. Make the most of it, and use it as an opportunity to market your business effectively.


You must be logged in to post a comment Login