Why You Shouldn't Censor Customer Complaints on Social Media

 

By David Berezin, Intern

Halloween may be rolling around, but thanks to a huge social media blunder, Party City has a lot more to worry about than selling costumes.  The retail chain came under fire for removing a customer complaint on its Facebook page.

The complaint came from mom Lin Kramer in the form of an open letter about the gender bias in Party City’s Halloween costumes. Kramer felt that the girls’ costumes were more sexualized and less realistic than the boys’ costumes.

Party City replied to Kramer’s letter by saying it would consider her feedback. In a strange turn of events, Kramer’s post and its response were deleted from Party City’s Facebook page. Kramer was also blocked from commenting on the page.

It’s tempting to remove customer complaints from your brand’s social media profiles. Your social media handles are out there for everyone to see. So when a customer complains on one of your social media pages, the public becomes aware of your shortcomings.

However, deleting a customer complaint will harm your brand even more. Social media is about transparency. Deleting a customer complaint will make your brand less transparent because you’re hiding something. When your customers notice that you’re removing complaints, they’ll lose trust in you.

Social media is also about expression. With social media, your customers expect that they can express their opinions openly and freely. Censoring complaints will convince customers that you’re threatened by their opinions, and worse, that you’re inhibiting their ability to express themselves.

So what do you do when a customer complains on social media? Quite simple: acknowledge it. Apologize to the customer who complained, and offer suggestions on how you could make their experience better in the future.

This will show that you care about your customers’ opinions, as well as their satisfaction. Remember, it’s not just one customer who’ll see your apology. Your social media followers will also see the effort you made to reignite a customer’s faith in your brand.

We all know that nobody’s perfect. So don’t create a false image of perfection by deleting customer complaints from your social media pages. Instead, use those complaints as an opportunity to show that you care about your customers and that you’re always willing to improve.

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