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Outstanding Customer Service on Social Media Combats Negative Reviews

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By Melanie Yunk | March 5, 2015

Iggy Azalea takes to Twitter when a Papa John’s employee gave out her phone number. Papa John’s responds to the tweet, but makes light of the situation by making a joke.
Iggy Azalea takes to Twitter when a Papa John’s employee gave out her phone number. Papa John’s responds to the tweet, but makes light of the situation by making a joke.

Customer service on social media might seem oxymoronic, but really the age-old business concept and new-age technological phenomenon are quite compatible. People both happy and unhappy love to talk, and they will often turn to social media to share their experiences about a company. Which is fantastic when customers are happy, but what about when they are not?

When something goes wrong with a product or service, social media may very well be used as a weapon against a brand. Just look at how Iggy Azalea took her customer complaint to Twitter after a Papa John's deliveryman allegedly gave out her number to a relative.

One tactic is to ignore the negative reviews and hope they just go away, disappear or are quickly forgotten. However, this is a bad plan, no - a really bad plan, as things don’t just disappear off the Internet. When potential customers search for company information, all the good, bad and ugly appears in those search results, so the best approach is more proactive.

Tips to Deliver Fantastic Customer Service on Social Media

Address complaints directly. If the negative commenter is known, contact the person directly and offer to fix the problem. Otherwise, respond to the comment and offer a solution to the unhappy customer, such as refunding their money or offering services again free of charge.

When Papa John's references her song "Bounce" in their "apology," Iggy Azalea is not amused. Respond to complaints promptly and professionally. This is not a time to be humorous.

Do searches on brand keywords and hashtags. Routinely searching brand keywords and hashtags related to company products and services allows companies to find complaints posted on various social networks. Responding to those negative reviews allows customers to feel heard and demonstrates the company not only cares but is willing to make things right.

Fix the problem internally. Train staff so this does not happen to other customers. Provide incentives for team members to provide excellent customer service. Teach staff to ask themselves "What will this customer write about me?" When individuals in the company are invested in making sure reviews that mention their personal service are positive, the company and customers benefit.

Gather 4- or 5-star reviews. 4- and 5-star reviews are required to outweigh and overcome 1-star reviews. Happy customers, when asked, are often more than willing to write positive reviews. Ask formally dissatisfied customers to change their reviews or delete their comments. As more good reviews are received, negative reviews have less impact.

Try these approaches to customer service on social media to bolster company reputation both online and off. If negative reviews on social media are a concern, consider getting help from an online reputation management agency or consultant. A brand is worth far more than its weight in gold, so take care of it.  Have you experienced customer service issues on social media?

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