Tips for dealing with difficult customers online

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Solving a problem with a customer face-to-face has certain benefits. As a manager or business owner, you’re able to lower your voice, remain calm and come to an agreement in a private space.

Dealing with difficult customers online is a different ball game as the whole world is watching. Did you know that as many as 97% of people read reviews of a local business? With this in mind, it’s even more important to communicate professionally online.

Here are a few tips for taking a cool approach to customer service.

Listen to the problem

It takes effort to leave a negative review or complain about a business. If a customer takes the time to share their unsatisfactory experience, then it’s important to listen. Take note of the comment and isolate the main cause of the issue. It may be inattentive staff, a misunderstood policy, or even a flaw in the business operations.

Respond with an attitude of empathy

Ignoring a comment won’t make the problem go away. Instead, it could add to frustration and make the business appear guilty. When responding to a customer, it’s important to be calm and put yourself in their shoes. Empathizing with the customer’s problem is a sure way to build rapport and put the fire out.

Answer the complaint on the same platform

Make sure that you respond to the customer’s comment or complaint on the same platform that they posted on. It’s important that those following the conversation, and those that read the thread at a later stage, can see your response.

Don’t encourage an argument

If the conversation continues after your response then it’s best to send them a personal message and resolve the issue privately. Avoid deleting comments but rather thank the customer for their feedback and encourage them that their voice has been heard. If necessary, you may need to follow up the conversation with a phone call.

Communicating in this way demonstrates that the business is open to feedback and prioritises customer satisfaction.

Incorporate feedback

In many instances, listening to the customer’s complaint can improve the business operations. For example, if a customer raises an issue with unit access, unhelpful staff or confusion about miscellaneous fees, then this feedback can be used to improve the customer experience.

Let the customer know that their feedback has been heard and will be acted upon.

A cool approach to customer service

Expert customer service in the online world can be a huge benefit to your business. Statistics reveal that 93% of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and continue service with companies that prioritise the customer experience.

Put these tips into practice and improve your store’s reputation and retention rate today.