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Iceni Magazine | May 12, 2021

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You’ve received a complaint on Twitter – what should you do?

You’ve put all your effort into your business and it’s services and products then someone leaves you negative feedback/comment about your business on Twitter – understandably you’ll probably take it personally and want to respond immediately – fuelled with emotion over the thought of someone attacking the business you’ve put your heart and soul into – but wait, this isn’t the way to resolve it professionally. Try the following steps and see if it helps resolve the situation positively for all parties:

1. Take a moment

Don’t jump straight in when you’re emotionally fired up – wait! Remember that every business, big or small, will at some point get negative feedback. Take a breather and take time to think about what they’ve said and try to remove emotion from the equation.

2. Do your research

Investigate the complaint. What was it about – was it related to a service/product or an employee issue? Find out as much information from the sources available to you as you can and determine if the complaint is valid or not. The more information you can get, the more informed you’ll be to determine a course of action.

If this isn’t the first bad review you’ve had about the product/service or employee there could be a bigger underlying issue that needs further investigation.

3. Apologise and then take it private

Regardless of whether the complaint is valid or not you should always apologise. On Twitter it’s important to acknowledge the customer using their @name and apologise publicly.

Social media can only go so far in any valid complaint procedure and it’s then that you should ask them to DM, Messenger or use another private communication tool available to you both so you can get their contact details to discuss the issue in more detail.

Something like this would work: “We’re sorry you’ve had a bad experience with us. We’d like to know more about what happened, would you send us a quick email/DM so we can get in touch? We’re looking forward to resolving this issue for you.” Don’t get into a “you said”, “we said” verbal slanging match – it’s unprofessional.

If, having discussed the matter further with them, it’s a valid complaint let them know what you’ve done or propose to do about the issue and the inconvenience experienced. Be sincere and even if you can’t resolve the persons complaint the fact that you’ve responded to them and are seen to be trying to help resolve it will show that you care about your business reputation, your customers and are proactive in dealing with complaints.

4. Resolved? Let everyone know!

If you resolve the problem tweet the successful resolution to your followers and most importantly @mention the person – say that you’re glad you were able to resolve the issue to their satisfaction. It’s possible then that the person might then post/retweet or favourite the positive conclusion and they might even become an advocate for you. You’d be surprised how many people are still impressed that a business is listening and willing to help – and if it’s resolved quickly it’s an added bonus!

Sadly, sometimes people want to just have a rant and aren’t even interested in trying to resolve the issue with you. Always be seen to try to initiate a conversation (following step 3 above) but when the person doesn’t reply what can you do? Your options are limited. You can block people on Twitter from following you but this doesn’t stop their tweet being searchable / seen by their followers. As an absolute  last resort you can try to drown them out with tweets or retweets generated by yourself to make them appear lower in your feed. It’s not ideal but sometimes you have no choice.


It’s important to monitor your Twitter feed and check out the @mentions to see what people are saying about you. If you find a negative comment, take a moment, do your research and then try to resolve the issue. The way you handle a complaint can turn a potentially negative situation into a positive experience for your business and your prospective customers.

If you need any help with your social media get in touch with me at

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