Using Twitter to Address Negative Customer Feedback

Fun and Promotey all at the same time! Photo Credits: Rosaura Ochoa
Fun and Promotey all at the same time! Photo Credits: Rosaura Ochoa

Twitter is a medium that many people love, especially as a means of promoting a business, but few think about using when it comes to handling and taking care of negative reviews and feedback. Here’s how to do that properly.

1. Acknowledge the problem

Using your Twitter feed, thank the person (use her Twitter handle in this tweet!) for the feedback and tell her you’re looking into it. This proves to your customers that you pay attention to all feedback and reviews, not just those that are positive.

2. Don’t be afraid to sound conversational or use humor

It’s okay to use colloquialisms and to sound more friend than professional when you respond to negative feedback on Twitter. This humanizes you and helps prove that there are real people manning your Twitter feed and social media, not just robots designed to tweet generic responses whenever they see the name of your company or your username mentioned.

3. Act quickly

The Twitter world moves quickly. Some might even say it moves too quickly. The faster you respond to a criticism levied your way, the more likely you are to turn the situation into a positive one for your customer and for your business. Try to respond to tweets within an hour of their being posted. Definitely do not allow more than twenty-four hours to pass between the complaint being tweeted and your responding to it.

The easiest way to make sure that you respond quickly is to set up both your account and your Twitter account to send notifications directly to you whenever a mention of you is made within the system.

Take it with you! Photo Credit: MDGovpics
Take it with you! Photo Credit: MDGovpics

4. Engage the commenter in conversation

Twitter’s character limit can make it difficult to resolve a problem with just one message. Do your best to engage the person in at least a few tweets’ worth of conversation. Ask a question to get more information and then invite the person to email you directly to discuss the problem further. This way you can get to the bottom of what is actually bothering the complainer and figure out how to fix it.

5. Open the conversation to others

Send out a general tweet that hash tags the product and ask if the customer’s problem has happened to anybody else. This will help you get an idea of whether this is a product-specific issue or a user-specific issue.

Keeping these things as public as possible is definitely in your best interest. It shows your audience and followers that you pay attention and care about every opinion offered up. Sometimes, believe it or not, the only thing needed to turn negative criticism positive is to prove that you hear what people have to say and that you care helping them.

Erin Steiner is a freelance writer from Portland who covers a variety of small business and other topics.

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