The growth of social media means that business is now 24 hours a day, seven days a week – what’s more, when a customer complains it’s now laid bare on social media for all to see. So how do companies and brands respond to the new ‘vocal consumer’?  Here are a few top tips to help you to manage your social media presence more effectively:

Put a Process in Place

People will use your social media channels for customer service issues, whether this is encouraged or not. Therefore make sure you have an effective method in place to receive those messages, with an escalation procedure so that the most appropriate person or department is made aware of an issue.

Make the Most of the Opportunity

When a person reaches out to a brand on social media, regardless of whether it’s to complain, this should always been seen as an opportunity to make a great impression – not only to the customer but also to the hundreds of potential customers watching the conversation unfold.

Don’t Pass the Blame

One of the main pieces of advice for handling customer service issues on social media is to address the issue quickly. With this in mind, never redirect them to another department, person or Twitter account if the issue is with your company, service or brand. That’s not to say you have to provide a solution straight away – like all customer issues you do need to investigate it before you can respond. Just let the customer know that their experience is being looked into.

Be Human

Personality on social media counts, so demonstrate you’re human, you have empathy and you’re doing all you can to address their concerns.  Customer issues that are handled well on social media are, more often than not rewarded by the consumer. A thank you tweet may seem like a simple gesture, but can have a huge impact on the company’s image.