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Managing a brand on social media can be challenging at times. Even with start-ups and small businesses, you’ll still run into a Grinch every once and awhile. It can be easy to get defensive right away or respond without fully thinking it through.

As the face of your brand, what you do after a complaint can make a big difference on how customers or potential customers view your organization.

Here are some tips to help keep a level head.

Reach Out

If you have departments like HR, Customer Support, or Content, know who to reach out to as they may have better ideas how to respond. If you’re struggling, we at Tellwell, can help you come up with a crisis response strategy! Remember to address the problem that caused the complaint instead of the complaint itself.

Rate the Feedback

Not all complaints are the same. It’s good to know what kind of feedback someone is giving before you respond. Since it’s the holiday season, here’s a Holiday Themed rating scale you can use:

  • Happy Helper Elf: this person is just giving you a heads up about an issue. They don’t seem to want anything in return, but just want to let you know about a situation or issue they had with an interaction or product. It’s constructive and it comes from a good place. It gives you an opportunity to fix things in the future. How to respond? Say thank you and let them know you’re listening.
  • Crabby Kid at the Family Get Together: their issues are pressing and negative. You will have to act immediately but with a level head. Be the bigger person.
  • Grinch: People can get mean on social media because of big or small issues. They can’t follow reason and the best thing to do is apologize and move on with your life. They’ll find the meaning of Christmas some day.
  • Fruit Cake: No one likes it but it’s everywhere right now. It’s basically the Holiday version of Spam.

Here’s a cheat sheet that we use for responding to social and it’s your’s for free!

Download Our Free Social Media Response Tool Here

Respond to Everything… well, mostly

Absolutely respond to the crabby toddler and the happy elf and most of the Grinches. We all know some situations are beyond reconciliation, but there should still be an effort to make peace.

Here’s an easy formula to help:

Apologize + Give a Solution = Typically Happy Customer

If the math problem doesn’t add up and your customer is still upset, know when to stop the conversation.

Every interaction is an opportunity. The better you handle a situation, the more respect you can get.

Go Direct

It’s good to initially respond in public, so other community members can see you took the time to respond and care about your customers. But, don’t be afraid to ask them to send  you a DM or Facebook message. Some things are better handled out of the spotlight and it’s nice to not take up valuable room on your other customer’s feed.

Overall, don’t make these Grinches turn you into a Grinch this holiday. Keep your head up!