Tweak Your Biz » Marketing » How To Deal With A Complaint On Facebook

How To Deal With A Complaint On Facebook



It would be fair to say we’re all still learning about Social Media. People from all areas of business find the openness and transparency of social media a bit scary. I have had many people say “a complaint on Facebook could ruin me”. Complaints in an online format, whether fabricated, exaggerated or valid are here to stay. So, let’s face the music together and you’ll find below four rules on how to deal with such a complaint on Facebook.

Deal with a complaint

Top 4 rules to deal with a complaint on Facebook:

# 1. Don’t delete it

People will have seen it and will be thinking “what are they hiding”. We all remember bad reviews. Deleted complaints look like you’ve got something to hide even though there may be a completely rational explanation.

# 2. Respond, don’t react

Walk away (only for a few minutes, speed is important when dealing with complaints) and think about your response. Go have a cuppa and really think about how you can take this bad comment and turn it around. If you react to it straight away you will probably do more harm than good. When you read a complaint your initial reaction is probably anger, if you answer the complaint in that frame of mind, it will probably not end well.

# 3. Imagine you’re in front of the person

Imagine that person is face to face with you in your shop, restaurant or office. How would you deal with it? Where social media is concerned, the stakes are higher because your page is public and this person has potentially a very large network that they can diss you to, or rave about you. How you handle the complaint will be very important.

# 4. Don’t offer anything free

We are all human and not all of us are honest! So if you offer something for free to someone complaining, are you going to get more complaints just so they can get their hands on the freebies? If you want to offer something in way of compensation – do it in a private forum, ask them to email you their contact details or direct-message them but NEVER do it in public.

None of us are perfect. We all get complaints from time to time and how we deal with them will be the difference between a good company and a great company. Facebook has made it easier to complain but dealing with that complaint will always remain that bit tricky.

Be sure to keep these points in mind if you get any in the future…

Did you like this article? Sign up for our RSS, join us on Facebookon Twitter and on Google+ to get the latest Tweak Your Biz articles and updates.

Images:  ”Photo realistic metallic reflective ‘complaints department’ sign / Shutterstock.com



The Author:

has a passion for all things digital and when Sandra set up her new business in 2010 her main objective was to empower businesses to manage their online marketing in-house at an affordable cost. For 12 years Sandra has been providing online marketing services and a suite of online marketing training programmes for training organisations and SME's in Ireland. http://www.bedynamic.ie

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.ahaingroup.com/ Sian Phillips

    I agree with you Sandra – especially the taking some time to cool down and think about it plus imagining they are face to face with you. Great tips thank you

  • Sheila Averbuch

    These are excellent tips, Sandra. If they are complaining about your business, I totally agree that the best thing to do is to try to steer the conversation off-line or even a phone call, where you can handle them privately. Somebody who wants to buy services from your company will be relieved to see that you handle complaints head on and care about the customer experience. It’s just so difficult for everybody that criticism now takes place publicly, but that’s the reality and it’s unlikely to go backwards!

    Sheila Averbuch – ENNclick

  • http://twitter.com/SandraHennessy Sandra Hennessy

    thanks for your comments, it’s so important to handle complaints on social media, I have seen so many people deleting and that can do so much damage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elish.bulgodley Elish Bul-Godley

    Great easy to absorb post full of common sense – came at the right time too – just as I had to moderate a spat between 2 people on FB. I agree with never deleting- its a classic case of turnng a crisis into an opportunity- a chance to show off your problem solving skills and customer service and definitely agrree on taking the conversation into DM mode

  • http://www.sarahryanblog.com/ Sarah Ryan

    Great tips Sandra. A short cooling off period is definitely key. If only Cinnamon had read this before their Twitter fiasco last year!

  • http://about.me/Lindeskog lyceum1776

    Sandra: I like your common sense approach on how to deal with a complaint on Facebook. I have only one “complaint”… You should have a pointed out that it should be tea in the cup! ;) I am tea enthusiast and “reacted” when I saw the word and thought of coffee first, but got relieved when I saw this: “Short for cuppa tea, alteration of cup of tea.” Cheers! :)

  • Christina Giliberti

    Hi Sandra, I covered something similar last year and its amazing how many businesses either avoid comments or struggle with responding.
    Some excellent tips there….social media can be too public at times – nothing wrong with making it known and dealing wth it directly over the phone/email/etc. Its the reason we build meeting rooms and private lines after all….
    The ‘offering something free’ is an interesting point – it’s our way of dealing with negativilty…BUT I agree with you, we shouldn’t. I know of people who purposely complain, so that they are offered free things like meals and vouchers. It’s an easy option for businesses, but a far better one is to UNDERSTAND the issue – how it arose…..and then put a process in place to stop it happening again.

  • sajitkumar

    Sajitkumar T K Vasudevan, 48, resident of Taman Nusa Indah Johor
    Bahru lost his job as production executive at Premier Vegetable Oil
    Pasir Gudang when his management discovered (after he was employed and
    not during the interview) that he was being treated for depression at
    the Permai Hospital.

    Unable to make regular payments on his housing loan, he is now
    hounded by the bank and faces legal action for defaulting on his loan.

    A clinically depressed Sajitkumar declared well by hospital.

    In 2010, Sajit had taken a RM 195,000 housing loan from Ambank.

    The following year, Sajit was given to key to the street when his
    company discovered he was suffering from depression and had not
    truthfully declared his depressive condition when he applied for that
    job.

    His application for SOCSO insurance was rejected.

    His appeal to The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) turned to naught.

    Earlier in 2007, he had withdrawn RM 30,000 from his EPF savings due to his sickness.

    This time when he applied to withdraw his savings, it was rejected.

    This is due the fact that Hospital Permai declared him not ill (tidak mengidap keilatan).

    Sajit’s troubles escalated last year when he was unable to service the loan for four months.

    As a result, the interest rate for his loan was increased from 4.9% to 9.1 %.

    When Citizen Journalists Malaysia (CJMY) contacted AmBank, Liaison
    and Collection officer Hamidah Abd Rahman explained that the bank had
    clear rules about loan defaulters.

    After four months of non-servicing of the loan, legal action would be instituted.

    Sajit had appealed for leniency but the bank was unwavering.

    By hook or by crook, he had to settle the outstanding loan and
    thereafter, service his loan for six months without fail before the bank
    could consider his case.

    In his jobless state, he is unable to find RM 3,000 per month to service the loan.

    Hamidah advised Sajit and all those in the same dilemma to seek the
    assistance of AKPK (Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit), the Credit
    Counselling and Debt Management Agency set up by Bank Negara which
    helps individuals manage their financial situation.

    Sajitkumar is now at the end of his tether. In anguish, he laments, “There is no justice in this world.”

    Sajit feels the society is pushing him against the wall. “People who
    are depressed are in a very unfortunate position because the public do
    not understand their complex illness.

    “A seriously depressed person can be driven to suicide.

    “They need encouragement and support,” he said.

    In addition, without financial assistance forthcoming, he may be
    driven to seeking for ”help” from Ah Longs and this could be the long,
    lonely road to his destruction.

    The World Health Organisation warns that mental illness will be
    second to HIV/AIDS in the burden it places on the world by the end of
    this decade.

    Records indicate that 9% of Malaysians suffer from major depression.
    Similar to global data, depression is the fourth most disabling disease
    in Malaysia, ranking third for women and 10th for men.

    Sajitkumar is now at the end of his tether. In anguish, he laments, “There is no justice in this world.”

    Johor Bahru

  • sajitkumar

    Sajitkumar T K Vasudevan, 48, resident of Taman Nusa Indah Johor
    Bahru lost his job as production executive at Premier Vegetable Oil
    Pasir Gudang when his management discovered (after he was employed and
    not during the interview) that he was being treated for depression at
    the Permai Hospital.

    Unable to make regular payments on his housing loan, he is now
    hounded by the bank and faces legal action for defaulting on his loan.

    A clinically depressed Sajitkumar declared well by hospital.

    In 2010, Sajit had taken a RM 195,000 housing loan from Ambank.

    The following year, Sajit was given to key to the street when his
    company discovered he was suffering from depression and had not
    truthfully declared his depressive condition when he applied for that
    job.

    His application for SOCSO insurance was rejected.

    His appeal to The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) turned to naught.

    Earlier in 2007, he had withdrawn RM 30,000 from his EPF savings due to his sickness.

    This time when he applied to withdraw his savings, it was rejected.

    This is due the fact that Hospital Permai declared him not ill (tidak mengidap keilatan).

    Sajit’s troubles escalated last year when he was unable to service the loan for four months.

    As a result, the interest rate for his loan was increased from 4.9% to 9.1 %.

    When Citizen Journalists Malaysia (CJMY) contacted AmBank, Liaison
    and Collection officer Hamidah Abd Rahman explained that the bank had
    clear rules about loan defaulters.

    After four months of non-servicing of the loan, legal action would be instituted.

    Sajit had appealed for leniency but the bank was unwavering.

    By hook or by crook, he had to settle the outstanding loan and
    thereafter, service his loan for six months without fail before the bank
    could consider his case.

    In his jobless state, he is unable to find RM 3,000 per month to service the loan.

    Hamidah advised Sajit and all those in the same dilemma to seek the
    assistance of AKPK (Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit), the Credit
    Counselling and Debt Management Agency set up by Bank Negara which
    helps individuals manage their financial situation.

    Sajitkumar is now at the end of his tether. In anguish, he laments, “There is no justice in this world.”

    Sajit feels the society is pushing him against the wall. “People who
    are depressed are in a very unfortunate position because the public do
    not understand their complex illness.

    “A seriously depressed person can be driven to suicide.

    “They need encouragement and support,” he said.

    In addition, without financial assistance forthcoming, he may be
    driven to seeking for ”help” from Ah Longs and this could be the long,
    lonely road to his destruction.

    The World Health Organisation warns that mental illness will be
    second to HIV/AIDS in the burden it places on the world by the end of
    this decade.

    Records indicate that 9% of Malaysians suffer from major depression.
    Similar to global data, depression is the fourth most disabling disease
    in Malaysia, ranking third for women and 10th for men.

    Sajitkumar is now at the end of his tether. In anguish, he laments, “There is no justice in this world.”

    Johor Bahru

    email: sajit88@gmail.com

  • Rika

    Good morning from South Africa. Just a quick question?? Last night I went on Facebook and saw that I have shared something which I havent. This is not the first time. Who does these things on your behalf?? Makes it very scary!!
    Also now I saw that I liked something on Jacaranda page which I havent about Oscar Pistorius. Out of alla those disgusting comments we are a few that makes positive comments of “do not judge”!! How can I like something If I dont agree to it??
    Just answer me who does things on your behalf? Who has the right to post, share or like something on my behalf?
    I have major issues with integrity and excellence. And what I see I do not like!