Though most of us would like 100% of our customers to be happy, 100% of the time, the truth is that we can’t always get it right.

Whether it’s a late delivery, an incorrect order, or a disappointing in-store experience, customers aren’t afraid of airing their grievances online.

In fact, research shows that 55% of UK consumers take to social media when they’re not happy about a business – but should you rise above the criticism, or respond to them?


Resolve customer complaints

Perhaps the most obvious reason why you should respond to negative comments on social media is to resolve complaints.

If a customer has sent in a tweet or message complaining about a product or service and you’re at fault, then it’s in everybody’s best interests for you to resolve that issue as soon as possible, and show your customers that you care about their experience.

And because you’ll be responding publicly, others will know you are proactive.


Some companies don’t bother

Another benefit to responding to customer complaints is that many businesses don’t bother; standing out from the crowd and putting things right will give you an edge.

According to one report, one-third of all customer complaints are never answered, and most of them are via social media.

If a potential customer clicks onto your Facebook page and sees dozens of legitimate complaints in the comments section, they’ll run away and never come back.

But if they read a negative comment and then your reaction, they’re more likely to consider buying from you.


Increase customer advocacy

According to a new study, answering a complaint can increase customer advocacy by as much as 25%, demonstrating the importance of offering good social media customer service and resolving issues as soon as you can.

Sure, you might feel a little disheartened when a customer says something mean about your brand to their hundreds of followers, but if you manage to resolve the issue and they retract their comment, you’ll look all the better for it.


Meet expectations

40% of customers who complain to a business on social media expect to receive a response within one hour.

That won’t always be achievable, especially during busy periods when you can’t be by your phone, but we recommend turning on push notifications so you can be aware when customers send you a message.

The faster you respond, the better it’ll look.

What’s more, 63%of consumers say that they’re satisfied with response time in social media – responding fast and being on the ball will show customers that you’re a reputable brand.


Learn from your mistakes

Finally, responding to negative comments allows you to learn from your mistakes and deliver a better product or service to your customers.

It’s all well and good deleting comments and blocking users on Twitter and Instagram, but that’s burying your head in the sand.

Instead, acknowledging that you messed up and showing customers you’re going to take their feedback on board and make changes will benefit everyone; satisfied customers, improved products, repeat orders, increased sales.

Creating an open dialogue with your customers is a great idea; you can make them part of your company’s journey and evolve alongside them.


By monitoring comments, responding in a timely and personal manner, and doing your best to acknowledge their frustrations and resolve their situation, you’ll come out on top. 

If you need help managing your reputation on social media, reach out to the affordable social media management experts at 99social. We’re on hand to guide you towards social success.

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