Convert social media complainers into brand advocates

Written on 01 April, 2015 by Evelyn Elsted
Categories: Social Media | Tags: business, marketing, online business, online marketing, small business, social media

As a business owner, chances are you already have experience dealing with client complaints on social platforms and, hopefully, you've been able to resolve the issue to everyone's satisfaction. But have you ever considered taking a complaining client and transforming their experience into something so positive they can't stop talking about how great your business is?

With the right management, a social media complainer can be converted into a valuable brand advocate. Here's how.

Pay attention to complaints big and small

No matter how well your company is performing, it's inevitable that some clients will have a complaint. In this hyper-connected world, chances are they will take to social media to share it.

Sometimes the issue is so big that a client will directly post a complaint on all of your social media accounts in the hope that they'll be dealt with more quickly. Other times, the complaint is a minor one and the client may not get in touch with you officially, but they might voice mild disappointment to their followers without actually tagging you. You need to monitor both kinds of complaints as well as your brand name by conducting social media listening and analysis. This way, you can respond before other people start to notice.

Respond quickly and with an apology

In the social world, things move quickly and an ignored complaint will not only annoy a client, but can quickly gain traction if the client has a large enough following. Aim to respond to all social complaints as quickly as possible and ensure you have an internal process that allows you to run more difficult responses by dedicated superiors in a timely manner.

Most importantly, ensure that your response is apologetic when the situation warrants it. Sometimes it’s hard to achieve the right tone, especially if you personally feel that a complaint is unfair, but as a business, it's very important to be humble and sound genuine and apologetic.

Make amends and go beyond expectation

If the process of solving your client's problem will take some time, make sure you keep them up-to-date throughout the entire process. You can also really turn an opinion around by asking the client if there's anything specific you can do to help them in the interim, and following through with their requests when possible.

Always do your best to exceed expectations by going the extra mile for your clients. This will help remove negative feelings, or transform them into something much more powerful. If someone feels as though they have been listened to and properly compensated, they will often be very enthusiastic in their praise and will share their experience and pleasure with all of their social media followers and friends.

If you leave complainers feeling as though they are valued clients who command your attention, you can create the kind of goodwill that generates trusted brand advocates.