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How to approach unhappy clients on Twitter

Negative customer feedback is something every entrepreneur should be ready to deal with. Realizing that each piece of criticism is actually a great opportunity for learning and improvement is key in turning negativity into an advantage. Part of this involves learning how to respond to unhappy customers on social media. To get you started, here are five tips for handling complaints sent through Twitter.
  1. Mind the timeb2ap3_thumbnail_527611_1280.jpg
Twitter is known for its real-time nature, and this is woven into customer expectations once they decide to send a tweet your way. A report from Lithium Technologies states that 53% of consumers who tweet a brand expect a response within an hour.
If the tweet in question is a complaint, things get even more complicated – the same figure rises to a whopping 72%! In short, response time matters. To avoid Twitter disasters in general, remember to track your response time and always respond to tweets sent by your customers in a timely manner.
  1. Be honest and transparent
If you made a mistake, be open and frank about it. The online community values honesty over backpeddling and excuses. People also hate to see problematic issues go unresolved – when a user posts a complaint, leave a public message, such as 'Please email me to solve this issue' or 'I'm looking forward to helping you. Could you send me more details in a message?'
Once the problem is solved, it’s also a good idea to follow up publicly. Here's an example of a good follow-up message: 'Thanks so much for letting us know. I trust the problem has now been resolved for you. Please let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help.'
  1. Keep it cool
Remember that you're the one responsible for setting the tone of the whole conversation. If you lose your cool, you're just asking to be attacked from more than one side. There are lots of people out there making comments just to get an emotional response – don't give them the satisfaction of provoking you. Never take it personally, but remain calm and collected.
  1. Apologize and offer a solution
When someone posts a negative comment on your wall, the first thing you need to do is to apologize for their bad experience with your product or service. But that's not the end of story. Many brands make this mistake – they say they're honestly very sorry, but never propose to solve the problem.
This should be your primary goal, and it's also the best way to direct the conversation away from the problem that’s been highlighted. You'll demonstrate that you hear and value what your customers have to say, and that you're ready to implement solutions to fix their problems.
  1. Never delete negative comments
If you simply remove every negative comment that comes your way, you risk making the situation much, much worse. The commenter will become even more frustrated and might move the conversation elsewhere, where you cannot speak for yourself.
Deleting comments casts your integrity as a brand into doubt and besides, the internet never forgets. Remove comments that use inappropriate language and block users who leave such messages – the rest is there to be addressed and solved.
Negative feedback displayed in a public forum is something brands should expect when running their social media accounts. Intelligent handling of a difficult situation can often come full circle to boost brand credibility on the web and make it stronger, rather than weaker, in the eyes of the public and your competition. So remember to handle any negative comments with well-considered grace, and your business will be well on its way to sustained success.

Nicole Davies works at ShortCourseFinder. Main areas of her interest are the social media and the use of new technologies in everyday life.
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Friday, 04 December 2020
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