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When and how to take your complaint online

Author: Sarah Bishop
Published: Dec 11 2012

While many people enter into a business transaction with positivity, there are times when unsatisfactory products or services require rectification. Normally, it is customary for consumers to attempt to get satisfaction for an inadequate experience by contacting the company that provided the product or service for intervention. Below are some situations and proposed methods for resolving consumer conflicts.

Business Transactions

A defective products is one of the most common reasons a consumer will file a complaint. Usually, consumers attempt to resolve the situation by attempting to return an item to the store or making a phone call. However, strict store policies and fewer staff can make filing a complaint less successful.

The airlines can be another sticking point for people when it comes to adequate services. For example, the stringent flying rules make it very difficult to change or return a discount ticket, even under dire circumstances.

Social Media

Thanks to social media, companies can no longer disregard customer commentary, or they risk having their reputations damaged. The power of social networks has created a situation where consumers have the power to influence how other people make their purchasing decisions. Because of this, consumers may take advantage of this to get satisfaction through other channels.

Social Media Consumer Methods

Just about every company these days has a social networking presence on Facebook, Twitter and other forums. This makes it easier than ever to communicate with marketing people whose job it is to extenuate their company’s reputation. This includes ensuring that disputes are resolved before the company can be embarrassed or have their reputations damaged by negative commentary. In today’s marketplace, this is more important than ever for businesses that are serious about surviving and thriving.

Using social media to communicate with companies over consumer disputes is a relatively easy process. However, there are some tactics that will ensure that your comments are noticed and therefore, have a better chance of being acted upon.

1. Distill what the exact situation is. Give details of time, place, form and event. Ensure that you have the facts straight so that when you approach the company, all of the information is available. Write out the story of what occurred as professionally as possible.

2. If you plan to use Twitter, there is a limited character count, so take the time to write a blurb that can be understood in that forum. In addition, if you use Facebook, it is better to have a one or two line comment to post that can get your point across, instead of a longer diatribe.

3. Find a specific handle for the company on Twitter. Also see if there is a specific account set up for consumers. For example, many firms have a general account where they make announcements, in addition to one that is dedicated to support and customer service. There is a better chance to get a response when the exact handle is approached.

4. Blog posts are another great way to get your point across. For more detailed stories, write a blog post and link it to a Twitter or Facebook message. Ensure that any Tweet includes the most important part of the message and is error-free.

Make Your Voice Heard

There are many consumer organizations where complaints can be filed online and you should consider it a service to others if you have had a bad experience with a product or service. It is important to defend yourself against fraudulent or unsatisfactory business practices not only for yourself, but so that other people will be spared the same difficulties. Make sure your voice is heard and take your complaint online, where it is bound to get more notice than the old practice of a consumer phone call.

Sarah Bishop is a freelance writer and consumer reporter who wants to instruct others in the ever-evolving business of customer service. If you want to file a complaint about a product or service you should consider submitting the complaint to, the effective social media solution devoted to resolving your customer complaints.

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