Unhappy & Upset Customers on Social Media

It happens. No matter how good customer service or processes are, sometimes bad things happen to good customers. If they take to Social Media and complain, how do you deal with this?

Knowledge of the problem

First of all, if you don’t know about the problem, you can’t respond. Set up Google news alerts and searches for your brand and any relevant words.  Set up searches on Twitter and keep a close eye on your Facebook Page for any customer complaints. If your industry has review sites or message boards, sign up to those and keep an eye for any relevant mentions. There are also software packages that will help you monitor for online sentiment around your brand – expensive, but you may consider these if your audience is a big one and your market is widespread.

Speed of response

Deal with any issues quickly.  If the customer needs a more in depth response, let them know that you are looking into the issue and will get back to them as quickly as you can, and supply them with relevant and frequent updates. Do this via email – you need to get the conversation offline as soon as you can so that you have greater flexibility and can talk to them properly – 140 characters is not always enough!

Personalise your response

Use your customer’s name and tell them your name.  That way your customer knows who they are dealing with and will automatically feel better – a real person is really listening!

Use a friendly tone

Empathising with your customer, and talking back to them in the same tone that they have used with you, keeps the exchanges friendly.  Normal business tone may not translate well to Social Media so you can use a more informal tone.


Some apologies can come across as more of a “it’s your fault”. “I’m sorry that this has happened and it was unacceptable” means more than “I’m sorry that you feel this way”.

Fix It

Tell your customer how you are going to fix it, and when. Onlookers will see all the exchanges on Social Media, and will see how you deal with customer service issues. It’s a great opportunity to turn a negative around.
Do you know when your customers are talking about you online? Have you had a customer service issue play out on the Social Media platforms recently? How did you deal with this?