Responding to consumer complaints on social media, how companies get it wrong

Companies no longer have the luxury of time to respond to a consumer complaint and with the advent of social media - businesses may want to respond with speed and efficiency.

Are they doing it right?

Wendy Knowler shares examples where she believes companies get it horribly wrong.

You have somebody like Rocco Mamas who instead of saying 'we apologise for the inconvenience, please DM us'.. occasionally they get it wrong - someone said please do something about your menus that are complicated and the answer was 'ask nicely'. Sometimes they get a little too clever.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

But most of the time I think Rocco Mamas has embraced the way that social media responses should work but sometimes the company gets it horribly wrong.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Recounting an issue with Vodacom, Knowler shares how several social media users who had upgraded their contracts and were due to have them kick in on the Sunday woke up to no data and airtime on the Saturday.

Knowler says Vodacom Support tweeted a generic response: "As we prepare for your new deal kicking in tomorrow, we need to start clearing out the old one today."

Where is the sorry? and actually that doesn't make sense.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Finally I got [a response from Vodacom] that 'this tweet is factually incorrect and that the customer should have been asked to DM their mobile number for the complaint to be investigated properly...we have taken appropriate measures to ensure due process is followed in future.'

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Giving advice on what should be done, Knowler says it is best for businesses to have a separate account for complaints.

I do think it is a good idea to keep your marketing separate from your complaints handling.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

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