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How To Address Upset Customers Using Social Media

how to deal with upset customers

How to deal with Upset customers 101! Thanks to the Internet and social media, customers and companies are in contact 24 hours a day, opening new avenues of communication to receive customer feedback. As a result, companies are more aware than ever of all customer dissatisfaction.

Users are well aware that they now have the power to impact brands significantly: They can either position them or call their reputation into question—ignoring them is worse than proving them right.

That’s why it’s vital as a business to ensure they receive the highest quality of service at all times.

Let’s look at some strategies to help you do this. 

1. Have live conversation with upset customers

When social media monitoring identifies an angry customer, you should respond immediately. The team managing your online reputation should understand how critical promptness is in these cases. Ideally, you should respond within 60 minutes. 

Response time is essential because it demonstrates to the community that you are actively interested in addressing your customers’ concerns, positively influencing your reputation, and therefore your potential customers and revenue.

When responding to a comment on your social media channels, do it publicly first (if the user needs more details, you can go to a private channel such as direct chat or email).

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Some recommendations for more effective interaction with a customer complaint:

  • Give your name (the name of the person giving the response). According to studies, people show more hostility towards brands and companies than towards individuals. 
  • Treat the customer by name. 
  • Use a respectful and friendly tone when addressing the customer. 
  • Read carefully what they have to say and show that you care about their opinion. 
  • Empathise with them, i.e., put yourself in their shoes. 
  • Never calm the angry customer explicitly; in most cases, they will calm down on their own once they express themselves. 
  • Don’t forget to apologise to the customer for the inconvenience caused; it’s part of the care’s initial protocol.
Direct chat

Direct chat can be tricky for many customer service teams. In particular, it can be difficult for people with previous experience who have offered this service by telephone.

At first glance, direct chat on social media can be a very efficient tool to work with, but it also produces certain complications that make it difficult to connect with the customer.

This is mainly because a written message can be perceived differently, depending on who the receiver is.

Therefore, it requires people who are proficient in written communication and the ability to deal with more than two issues at the same time. 

Agents must be trained to have a close and empathetic conversation. They should ask precise questions for the client to explain the reason for their query. They must have a quick understanding of the problem and give correct and appropriate answers to the situation. Be concrete and concise to save the user time.

Further reading: How to use social media for small business

2. Respond to all negative comments to assist other upset customers

Interaction on social media is essential for the exposure and promotion of your brand. When you don’t respond, you leave the person who wrote to speak alone, which is disrespectful in a medium designed for feedback.

Remember that social media is public, and everyone has access to it; other users can see your action, which will negatively impact your online reputation. No matter what the comment is, you need to respond to it.

Sometimes you can use a generic text such as: “We have received the message and will be in touch shortly.” But in general, it is better to give personalised responses rather than automated responses because automated responses give the impression that you are not paying attention to your customer’s problem.

3. Feed useful information to upset customers

As you receive complaints or questions from your customers, you will notice that many of these are repeated.

Use Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to categorise your customers’ concerns and know what to answer in each case.

A version of this manual should be present in a section of your website so that you can forward it to a customer if necessary, and they can clear their doubts.

Having a record of the most common incidents will facilitate the subsequent evolution of the strategies you have put in place and improve the service or product.

4. Find a solution for upset customers

Offer something in return: You can offer a refund, although it doesn’t have to be physical. It can be some discount on the next purchase or a gift to compensate for the bad experience.

You can also offer a promise that it won’t happen again and that your company is taking steps to improve such situations.

Offer alternatives: You have to keep in mind that customer satisfaction is essential. They may not be completely satisfied with the alternatives you offer, but it is always important to provide at least one.

Work on resolving their concerns; intention and effort are sometimes enough to gain your customers’ acceptance and appreciation.

Search for a solution: It must be found jointly between the customer service area and the functional area involved. Resolution deadlines must be short. Information and quality of service are two essential pillars in this step.

Problem resolution: Once the solution has been determined, communicate to the customer in detail the steps to resolve the problem. Thank them for sharing their complaint and for placing their trust in your company. Offer explanations and apologies. 

Follow up: Once the problem is resolved, wait a few days and contact the customer. “Was the problem solved?”, “Were you satisfied?”, “Is there anything else I could do for you?” are some questions you can ask.

Further reading: Social media, passive vs aggressive tone of voice.


Paying attention to and following the conversations and interactions happening on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is essential for good communication with customers and potential customers.

Be concerned and take care of their problems actively; manage to give them the attention that goes hand in hand with intelligent and more effective communication. Make them loyal to your brand. 

Our team manage 100s of live chats for our customers across social media, get in touch to see how we can help you manage your customer interactions. Find out more