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Why customer complaints on Twitter are a good thing

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Never has complaining been so easy.

In the not-so-distant past, when customers or clients wanted to voice their concerns about a business, their options were to draft a formal letter of complaint or call a customer helpline.

Now, customers can turn to Twitter and broadcast their complaint instantly to potentially millions of people.

Twitter has forever transformed the nature of customer complaints. Customers have greater control, a louder voice and much broader reach; which can have serious impacts on your business’ reputation.

The good news is complaints can be turned around. The great news is they can even be transformed into positive PR for your business.

Twitter not only provides an opportunity for you to resolve the problem with the person in question, but also provides a public platform for you to showcase excellent customer service, and as a result, potentially grow your customer base.

Many forward-thinking brands such as, Nike, Xbox and Amazon use Twitter as a customer service tool. They have been celebrated for their responsiveness and focus on customer needs.

A robust Twitter strategy will equip you to handle customer service effectively on the platform, and respond to criticism quickly and effectively. It will also serve to help you get on the front foot with your customers and proactively engage them in conversations about your brand.

Here’s how to handle customer service well via Twitter.

Create a Twitter strategy and process

Whether your company is already on Twitter or you are new to the platform, a robust strategy and process will prepare you to handle any challenging scenarios.

Start by creating a Twitter strategy which outlines your goals and objectives, target audience, key messages, tactics, timeframes, and KPIs.

You should also create a process or policy which will inform who is responsible for identifying and responding to complaints, how quickly you will respond and what you will say, so you can be prepared for anything.

Monitor Twitter activity

Through closely monitoring activity on Twitter, you will be in a position to respond quickly to feedback.

A customer may refer to your company through directly mentioning your Twitter handle, which you will discover by viewing your interactions. They may also mention your company by name, which you can find though Twitter’s search function or through social media monitoring tools.

By monitoring Twitter effectively you will be in a position to diffuse potentially negative situations rapidly.

Respond to feedback quickly

Once you’ve been alerted to the complaint, respond quickly. People who tweet expect a fast response. Ignoring complaints on Twitter, or any other social media platform for that matter, is not an option as it will simply worsen the problem.

It is important to be responsive to both negative and positive feedback. After all, you should celebrate your successes as well as address the challenges.

Offer a solution

Responding quickly to a complaint on Twitter is only half the battle. The rest relies on your business extending a genuine helping hand to the customer.

A frustrated customer who is venting on Twitter will not be satisfied if your brand’s response is, “thanks for your feedback.” You need to take it one step further and offer a solution.

When the wider Twitter network sees you take action in a timely and effective manner, it is a fantastic testimonial to your business.

Create a loyal following

Once your customers or clients can see your brand provides quality customer service on Twitter, you can start to build a network of loyal ambassadors who will recommend you to their networks. Some of these loyal customers will even respond to online criticism on your behalf. You have essentially created a team of fans.

Providing great customer service on Twitter creates an opportunity for your company to cut through all the chatter online and stand out as the business customers and prospects want to talk to.