Best practice customer complaints management on social media

I was asked recently to contribute some tips to the Real Business website. The brief was:

‘what advice would you give to businesses about handling customer complaints on social media?’.

There were some great answers from the contributors. My 3 tips are below.

The one I’d re-emphasise would be getting a plan in place before you need to react – ‘social media triage’ as it’s known. Every SME or corporate business (and Agency for that matter) really should have a plan of action thought through before engaging in social networks. Maybe more necessary for consumer brands perhaps (higher sales / brand contact interactions) but even small B2B businesses will get a mix of questions, concerns and / or complaints. Of course the best preventative measure is to have a ‘loveable’ brand / business that is full of integrity and have a great product and service behind that.

But sometimes things go a bit wrong and genuine mistakes are made even in organisations with great products and honest intentions – so be prepared with a customer complaints management plan..


Angry woman via Flickr image Creative Commons licence

[image above courtesy (CC licence) of Only Alice on Flickr –]

1. Be prepared.

Plan for this kind of eventuality.

2. Don’t be an ostrich.

Don’t ignore complaints (they may well then escalate) unless they are very clearly Trolls.

3. Take it ‘offline’.

You don’t have to solve the issue immediately and in that same public space.


My fuller tips are on the article linked here on the Real Business website.

Have you had any instances of complaints gettin out of hand?

Or do you already have a triage process set up?

Let me know in the comments below.. or share this article with others. Thanks.

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