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Dealership complaints on social media don’t always have to be detrimental to your business—learn how to turn lemons into lemonade with these tips.
Customer complaints aren’t a new thing. In the past, your dealership has likely fielded countless phone calls, emails, and in-person complaints that have pushed you to try to make things right. Getting negative feedback isn’t enjoyable, but most times, it’s behind closed doors, and you can resolve it without public embarrassment.
In the last decade or so, though, dealership complaints have moved to a more public forum: social media. Now, customers who feel they have been wronged can go straight to your Facebook page and leave a negative review for the entire world to see.
You’re never going to be able to stop people from posting dealership complaints on social media, but you do still have the power to control what happens next. What you do (or don’t do) once a negative review is posted could make or break your dealership’s reputation.
4 tips for taking control of social media dealership complaints
Even if you’ve never received a negative review on your dealership’s social media pages, don’t get too cocky — you will eventually. It’s becoming more and more common for unhappy customers to voice their frustrations via social media in hopes that someone – anyone — will hear them. It’s up to you to make them feel heard and to rectify the situation. Here are some tips and best practices to remember:
1. Answer them.
Some brands just completely ignore customer complaints on social media and hope the problem will go away on its own. In reality, ignoring someone is an excellent way to make them even madder. Whereas, if you respond quickly and effectively, you could increase customer advocacy by 25%.
2. Answer them as quickly as possible.
The goal is not just to answer a dealership complaint, but to do so as fast as you can. A good rule of thumb is to respond within 15 minutes, but if that’s not possible, aim for under an hour; 60% of customers who complain on social media expect a response within 60 minutes.
3. Responding is not a free for all.
Responses to your dealership complaints should not come from anyone who has the free time to answer. There are two best practices for this you may want to choose between.
The first option is only to let one person from your dealership respond to negative reviews. This ensures continuity in the brand voice and avoids an already irate customer getting passed back and forth between different employees. The second option is to choose a small social media response team and have them sign their initials at the end of each response post. This helps the team keep track of who is handling something, and makes it easier for the customer as well.
4. Be professional.
When you respond to a dealership complaint on social media, the goal is to remain calm and polite. Thank them for their opinion, apologize, and then ask them to send you a private message — you always want to try to move them from the public post to a private message and resolve the details in private, if possible.
Never underestimate the importance of properly responding to negative reviews online. One negative review that goes unaddressed has the potential to spiral into something more damaging — especially if potential customers check your social media accounts before calling you for a test drive. If they see too many poor reviews, especially ones that go unaddressed, you may just lose their business.
The best way to deal with negative reviews, though? Prevent them from happening in the first place. Look at your dealership’s entire customer service experience from start to finish, and be realistic about where your team can make valuable changes. If you spend more time on making your customers happy from the get-go, you’ll spend less time trying to clean up the mess online.