The Darker Side of Online Reviews

What should you do if your company gets a complaint or complaints on social media?


Many companies have had to deal with this issue over time. While many have handled it professionally and successfully for that matter, others have dropped the ball.

When you run a business (small, medium or large), you’re bound to get some online complaints. While many of them will prove nothing more than a short distraction, others have the potential to be a ticking time-bomb.

With that in mind, how should you handle such matters?

  1. Take a Deep Breath

Naturally, you don’t like it when someone insults your brand. It is human nature to feel offended, and by all means go and squeeze a stress ball or take your frustration out by shredding a few documents (only ones that were scheduled to be shredded anyway!). Just don’t do it where all of social media can see you. From the moment a complaint appears publicly on social media, followers are waiting for your response – if it’s anything less than professional, you could damage your reputation.

  1. Don’t Be an Ostrich

A report by the BBC showed that social media is the way to go for customers who want a quick response to their complaints, with businesses responding faster than they do to email or phone calls. If your company receives a complaint, follow this trend and react quickly. Ignoring criticism – or even trying to ban it as some do- won’t make it go away. Instead, it will make your brand look unhelpful and uncaring.

  1. Fix the Problem

It’s simple – if a customer has complained on social media, it’s because they have a problem they want you to fix. Your job is to assess the complaint, and make amends. A canned response won’t win you any admiration. A warm, friendly one taking responsibility for your mistakes will. Sometimes, a little humor can go a long way. Humor isn’t always the right approach – don’t make light of your customer’s worries – but a human touch always is, and a unique response demonstrates that.

  1. Pay Attention

The key to dealing with social media complaints is to keep an eye out for them. With social media becoming the go-to for customers to connect with your business, you might find it’s worth employing someone to monitor your social media channels and craft timely, helpful responses. As the following article looks at, this is great news for up and coming professionals who are wondering how mastering social media can turn into a career. A dedicated social media team stops complaints getting out of hand and garners you some good reviews along the way as happy customers let their followers know how quickly you dealt with their worries.

The thought of social media complaints can be hair-raising, a real case of airing your dirty laundry in public.

But if you get a social media plan in place that allows for tactful, friendly, genuinely helpful responses, your business will be on the way to handling social media complaints with grace and ease.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as online reviews, marketing, business, and SEO.