Facebook and Twitter are great for business when your clients are singing your salon’s praises. But what about online complaints on your salon social media – how should you deal with these?

They always happen when the salon is busy and the last thing you need is a peeved client who sees your salon Facebook as the perfect place to broadcast a moan.

Worst of all this is being played out publicly online in front of clients, potential clients and your competition. Ghastly I know, but playing burying your head in the sand won’t help. Don’t be an Ostrich – you must deal with it.

Here’s a useful online marketing checklist to handle salon complaints:

1. A solid salon system for online complaints

Feeling confident that you have a system in place to respond to salon complaints on social media is half the battle.

Why not pin this checklist on your office wall or pop it on your phone? It’ll act as a great aide memoir when you need to act in a rush.

2. Who responds to complaints?

Be clear as to who is responsible for monitoring your social media channels. A hair stylist or beauty therapist (who could easily be busy with a client for an hour) is probably not the best person for the job.

If you’re not personally taking on the role of responding you need to make it clear who is. You don’t want arguments later about who should have replied.

3. Reply immediately. Your salon reputation is at stake.

Speed is everything here if you want to preserve your salon reputation. Social media users expect a swift answer to their grievance. Otherwise complaints will fester and escalate in no time.

4. Check out their Facebook and Twitter profiles first

It’s always worth checking the complainer’s social profiles before replying. It may help you approach their problem from a different viewpoint.

5. An online apology makes good business sense

Start with a public online apology as it often defuses the situation. Apologising that they ‘feel this way’ isn’t the same as admitting blame or accepting that they are right.

It also makes you look more human, open and honest to the hundreds (if not thousands) of people who are following this public spat online.

6. Take salon complaints offline

Having responded online with an apology, now get the conversation off-line and away from public scrutiny. Quickly.

With your apology ask for an email address or phone number – unless they are a salon client in which case they’ll expect you to have their contact details.

7. Give them a practical solution to their grievance

Once the conversation is offline, deal with the problem as you would usually do in salon.

Offer a practical solution. Include options so they feel more in control.

Finish by thanking them for their helpful salon feedback – regardless of how rude they were.

8. Never be tempted to hit delete

No matter how busy you are or how trite the complaint appears do not delete the social media post before you have apologised and taken the matter offline.

Why? Because the person will feel you’re not listening. Not caring. Worse still, the situation will then escalate online in the public domain. Not what you want.

 

And if you still are wondering about the importance of dealing with salon social media complaints this should convince you. A recent survey revealed 42% of people expect a response within 60 minutes of making an online complaint.

Whoa. That’s a tough challenge for any salon entrepreneur to rise to.