Using Social Media to Resolve Customer Service Issues

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What can you do when a business gives you unsatisfactory service and doesn’t seem to care to resolve the issue? You could fuss and shake your fist at them, accomplishing little and giving them little reason to improve, or you can take the problem to the web and possibly attract the attention of someone in the organization that does care. Using social media to resolve customer service issues is nothing new, but there are some new and useful resources to consider when considering bringing your matter to the public realm.

Syed Balkhi, the founder of WPBeginner, is no stranger to the world of blogging and social media. Recently, he received a bad customer service experience with a hotel that lost his reservation. When he asked to see the manager, things didn’t improve. It’s at this point that he decided to take the matter to the web through a promoted tweet on Twitter and use of Gripe, an online service dedicated to getting bad customer experience issues resolved.

Gripe is a free location-aware mobile app that is designed to help users harness the power of word-of-mouth to get their issues about local businesses heard and resolved. Merchants and businesses sign up through Gripe because it gives them the ability to respond to complaints quickly. It isn’t a one-way service that lets you rant about how terrible service is, it gives the merchants a chance to publicly resolve the issue and improve their reputation. This means that they will have more incentive to actually solve your problem.

Where companies may spend millions on advertising to improve their reputation, Gripe gives you a soapbox to express your concerns in a social environment both inside and outside of your social circle. In addition, they actively reach out to these companies to inform them of the problem. In many cases, a problem posted on Gripe is resolved very quickly.

In Syed’s case, the hotel manager quickly called him and apologized for the situation. The manager explained the series of events that lead up to the experience, and offered a solution to the problem. Where many companies would write-off a complaint or lost customer as a hazard of doing business, social media gives them a major incentive to make things right.