It happens to every business at one time or another. A customer, unhappy with a particular experience with your company, leaves a scathing comment online for all the world to see. Whether what they’ve said is true or not, the comment is now live on your website or social media pages doing its damage to your reputation.

Keeping your cool with online customer complaints

Luckily, 99% of your valid online customer complaints can be handled in a pretty simple manner. Basically, all companies should anticipate that at one point in time they may be dealing with an unhappy customer, so it’s important to have a plan in place to address these issues. The good news is that it really only takes three fairly simple steps to turn those dissatisfied customers into happy customers once again.

3 steps for dealing with online customer complaints

We’ve all heard of internet trolls – those individuals who make it their goal to air grievances or start arguments online about your business. Internet trolls tend to have a history of leaving negative comments online. But, sometimes customers have a valid complaint about something that happened with your business – or, at the very least, they feel they have a valid complaint. Here’s how to deal with these online customer complaints:

  1. Acknowledge every complaint, no matter how crazy or wrong it seems. The key is to to respond by thanking them for their feedback to let them know you’re listening and that you care.
  2. Apologize for their experience. Remember, it doesn’t matter at this point if they’re right or wrong, what matters is that they feel like they are dissatisfied in one way or another with your products or services.
  3. Take it offline. Avoid engaging in arguments online. Instead, ask the individual to message your company privately so you can learn more. Express that you would like to do all you can to make it right and turn their negative experience into a positive one.

The key takeaway here is to let both your current and future companies know that you’re listening, you care and that you want to do your best to make things right.

To learn more about handling online customer complaints, listen to our podcast on this very topic.

Original podcast show notes: There are basic things you can do that apply to 99% of your valid online customer complaints. Today Sandro goes over three of them.

Editor’s note: This episode was recorded under our previous brand. You can find us now at Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast.