How to Respond to an Unhappy Customer Online

An unhappy customer making their complaint public with a post on Facebook, a tweet, or a one-star review on google can be a company’s worst fear. There they are, making you look like a bad guy where everyone can see it. Especially if you’re a company without a lot of attention or reviews, or just venturing into digital marketing, you may fear that it will drive away potential customers. But don’t worry too much – there is a way to respond to these customers that will help the customer become satisfied while publically demonstrating your generosity and empathy as a company.

  1. Apologize

The customer is always right, even on the internet. When you’re constructing your response, include an apology that the service or product that you provided was not what the customer was expecting or did not meet their standards. Make sure that it comes off as empathetic and not snarky – it can be easy to read the wrong tone on the internet, so making your message as clear as possible is ideal.

  1. Promise that this won’t happen in the future

Tell the customer that you are taking his or her feedback in mind and suggest that you will implement a change so that this won’t happen to future customers. Remember, you are not just reaching out to this one customer – you are indirectly speaking to every customer that will glance at this post or review.

  1. Offer the customer something right now

Immediately offer yourself. This doesn’t have to be a replacement product – it can be an offer to speak about and resolve the issue more directly via private message or telephone. Offering free stuff to anyone who complains is not necessarily a great business model – but choosing to listen and respond to every complaint is. Make sure the customer knows that you are glad that they reached out so that you could address the issue.

While a public complaint seems terrible, think of it as an opportunity to take advantage of the easy, open communication brought about by social media. These suggestions are just the beginning – look at the specifics of your particular company to decide how to best address problems that consumers have.

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