Social media serves as a vital tool for businesses to engage with potential and existing customers. However, it also has its fair share of pros and cons. For one, it becomes a public outlet for angry customers to let out their frustrations. This reflects badly on the company, and opens up a lot of risks, such as possibly deterring other people from patronizing the brand.
That said, it’s up to the company’s way of handling angry customers to save their image. This brings us to today’s question: How do you respond to comments from angry customers?
To respond to angry customers on your social media posts, the most important thing is to be empathetic. Acknowledge the issue, apologize, and offer a resolution. You should also provide immediate responses to make the customer feel like they’re your priority.
Read until the end to know more about how to properly handle angry and dissatisfied customers on your social media accounts.
Proper Way of Responding to Angry Customers on Your Social Media Posts
If your target market sees a chain of negative comments that are either unanswered or not handled properly, there’s a high chance that your brand image and reputation will be affected.
So, what can you do? Here’s a simple yet effective step-by-step guide that you can use:
Step 1: Acknowledge the Customer’s Anger and Negative Experiences
The first step in dealing with an angry customer is to acknowledge their anger and negative experiences.
The last thing you want to do is invalidate their comments (yes, no matter how absurd it is) without even trying to know more about their complaints. Don’t deny or admit anything, but take accountability for the inconvenience they have experienced.
As an example, you can say something along the lines of “We’re sorry to hear that. It must have been frustrating on your end” or “We understand how this situation became an inconvenience to you”.
The main key is empathy. Make the angry customer feel like they’re heard and you’re interested in their issues.
Step 2: Apologize to the Customer
After acknowledging the issue, proceed to apologize to the customer. Say “We’re sorry that this happened to you” or a simple “Sorry for the inconvenience we caused you”.
Stay polite, and if ever they left rude comments, keep your answers professional. You won’t be able to solve the issue or bring the customer back to your brand if you become aggressive.
Apologizing to the angry customer will also send a message that you’re responding with the goal to resolve their issue and not to defend anything (unless we’re talking about malicious claims or misinformation).
Step 3: Offer a Resolution
More often than not, an angry customer is a dissatisfied customer. They have already tried and/or paid for your product or service, but they feel like they didn’t get their money’s worth.
No matter whose fault it is, try to offer the best resolution possible. You still have to consider your limits as a business, but try your best to show the customer that you’re willing to resolve the issue.
Some solutions that you can offer include discounts on their next purchase, refunds, and vouchers. Of course, you first have to ask the customer for more details. You can’t simply offer a voucher if they complained about poor customer service.
Make it a point to know the specific issue, so you can take the most appropriate action. Ask them to email you or offer phone or live chat support for more effective communication.
Step 4: Don’t Forget to Thank the Customer
No matter how angry the customer is, don’t forget to still leave a short “Thanks!” when responding to them. After all, their comment will still be able to help you in figuring out which area of your company needs improvement.
Save this for your closing message. You can stick with the short and sweet “Thank you!”. You can also be more specific, and say things like “Thanks for bringing this to our attention” or “Thank you for taking the time to leave a feedback”.
Sending your thanks will make the customer feel like their opinion was heard, and you will surely take it into consideration when improving your products and services.
Tips When Replying to the Social Media Comments of Angry Customers
A good standard response protocol for angry customers is just one of the many things that you need to have when replying to negative social media comments. There are a few other tips that you need to keep in mind. Refer to the following:
Fast responses are best applied to every social media comment that you’ll get, but this is most necessary when it comes to dealing with angry customers. Since they’re usually talking about an issue related to your offers, poor experiences, and general complaints, it’s a given that they’d want a reply as soon as possible.
Responding quickly shows that you take the customer's feedback seriously and care about their experience. This tip can also prevent the issue from escalating and affecting your brand reputation, as other customers may see the negative comment and wait for a response before making their own judgments.
It’s important to show empathy when talking to angry social media users. Put yourself in the customer's shoes to understand where their frustration is coming from.
Like what we talked about earlier, start by acknowledging the customer's feelings and apologizing for any inconvenience they may have experienced. Take the customer's complaint seriously, no matter how shallow it may seem in your eyes.
Take the Conversation Offline
While it's important to respond to negative comments on social media, it's not always appropriate to resolve the issue in public.
What you can do instead is to take the conversation offline. Provide a phone number or email address where the customer can reach out to you directly. Paired with a good customer support system, you can expect to resolve the issue more effectively while still being able to protect the customer's privacy.
Transparency is crucial when dealing with angry customers. You have to be honest and transparent about the situation, the steps being taken to resolve it, and its current status. Doing so will not only give your brand a positive image, but it will also give the customer peace of mind.
Moreover, if the issue is a result of a mistake on your end, own up to it and take responsibility. This can help rebuild trust with the customer and show that you are committed to providing excellent customer service.
Your conversation with the angry customer doesn’t end after providing a resolution. To ensure that you have provided good customer service and the customer is satisfied with it, send a follow-up message one to two business days after you offer a resolution.
To do this, you can start with a simple email. Ask about how things are going with their issue, and whether there’s anything else you can do for better customer experience. A phone call will also suffice for a more personal conversation. Don’t forget to ask for feedback.
Learn from the Experience
Lastly, learn from the experience. Remember the anger and frustration that the customer expressed, and how difficult it was to deal with them and solve the issue, so you can try your best not to let it happen again.
Take your time in reviewing the situation, identifying areas for improvement, analyzing the customer’s feedback, and identifying the trends and patterns involved in it.
By learning from the experience, businesses can improve their products, services, and customer service, ultimately creating a better experience for their customers.
Can You Avoid Having Comments from Angry Customers on Your Social Media Accounts?
You can practice effective social media and customer support strategies to avoid having comments from angry customers on your social media accounts. However, you can’t totally prevent it.
There are several things that you can do to ensure that your social media posts will be well-received by your target audience. These include thinking of engaging captions, providing high-quality visuals, offering marketing promotions, and the like.
The thing is, though, you can’t control social media users. Whether they’re an existing customer who was previously dissatisfied with your business, or someone who simply doesn’t have a good perception of your brand, you should expect a negative comment from time to time. This is most especially if your social media accounts are already getting a lot of impressions and engagements.
Thus, the only thing that you can do is to plan and curate your social media content, and provide the best customer support to every angry customer.
Hire the Best Customer Support Team from the Philippines
You don’t have to respond to the comments of angry customers yourself. Save yourself from all the hassle, and outsource a dedicated customer support team to engage with your customers online.
At ManilaPros, we offer top-notch customer support services around-the-clock. Our professionals are trained to answer social media comments, inquiries, and messages efficiently and in line with your brand’s tone and personality. On top of this, the team will also be responsible for responding to customer emails, live chat, and phone calls.