How to effectively complain using social media

FacebookedIt used to be the only way to make a profound impact with a consumer complaint when no one would listen, was to send a registered letter to the company headquarters. Before the days of Google however, it wasn’t easy to figure out the name of the right level of executive. Now the average customer can get immediate gratification; no phone calls to the organization to find out the CEO’s name and no waiting weeks for a response as the letter snakes itself around various departments looking for a solution.

Social media, namely Facebook and Twitter get unhappy customers attention. Businesses are paying more attention to tracking complaints because they want to mitigate negative effects against their product or service. New software has been developed where specialized social networking modules can track what is being said. From there, representatives can weed out the serious posts, trace the origin to see if there was previous contact, and answer posts that are worthy of follow-up.

There are some responsible and effective ways to use social media to resolve your problems. Here are a few suggestions to make sure you get to the higher tiered customer service representatives:

  • Social media should not just be used as a platform for complaints. Use your real name so a company can find out who you really are and therefore will have the ability to respond in a timely manner.
  • Start with the traditional customer service steps first. I understand that it can be frustrating, but having your name and your problem on record is the best way to build credibility with a company.
  • Check a company’s reputation and how they handle customer complaints. Check the local Better Business Bureau for complaints about the organization if it is local, or check social media sites to see how they have handled complaints in the past.
  • If you decide to use Twitter, be nice. Ask the company to get in touch with you, and send the message during regular business hours.
  • If you have a blog which is respectable and well-read, tell your story in detail. Come up with a clever title; try to stay away from sarcasm, bad language, and questionable humor. Use spell check, and check your grammar.
  • If you feel the need, use Digg, Reddit and Delicious to make your complaint. Plan a video, but again; do not use profanity and most of all keep it professional.

Organizations want to keep their image upstanding and professional. A public relations team wants to keep business moving smoothly, and it is likely someone will respond to you and work out a mutual resolution.

photo credit: angermann

2 Responses to “How to effectively complain using social media”

  1. Jaosn said:

    Jul 30, 11 at 8:12 pm

    It’s really hard to NOT turn social media into a complaint factory, but you’re so right. So much more can be accomplished through dialogue. A smart company listens and will respond.

  2. How to Get Even for Poor Customer Service | Across the Fader.ORG said:

    May 06, 12 at 12:09 pm

    […] front. Customers who use Twitter, Facebook or other social media to contact a company are quick to spread word of their discontent. They tell an average of 53 people about a bad experience—more than double […]