Aren’t you sick of playing ‘ring a ring a roses’ with the bloody customer complaints team?
Why do companies even bother to have complaints departments if all they do is give you the runaround before they even entertain your complaints?
When you get this fed up with a company, it can be easy to throw your hands up and give in.
Well, I’m here to tell you to say NO! Don’t ever surrender. Never give in! You are the mighty hand of rightousness in this matter and you shall have your vengeance.
When you’ve done everything possible to get your complaint resolved in a nice way without success, it’s time to say that phrase you always wanted to say in your most gladiatorial voice possible.
It’s time to go public.
Before I Begin: The Twitter 101
If you are already a certified twitter addict, you can skip this section and move on to the How to complain Using Twitter bit exactly 84 words down from here.
If, on the other hand, the idea of resolving your most frustrating complaints in 140 characters or less sounds more than a little bit overwhelming, then visit this quickfire How to Use Twitter: Critical Tips for New Users cheat sheet to learn the basics and get in the twit zone.
Once you’ve fully twitterised over there and can call yourself a bonifide twitter account holder, get your complainin’ ass right back here to this amazing complaints site and learn how to master the art of the perfect Twitter complaint.
How To Complain Using Twitter
OK, you’re at your wit’s end. You’ve tried everything else you can think of and now you’re ready to go public.
Twitter is your weapon of choice. It’s a good choice too, because it’s one of the most effective tools in the master complainers toolkit (along with nuclear weapons, cyber attacks and drones).
Where else do you have potentially half a billion people (with atleast 15 million in the UK) at your fingertips ready to hear your complaint?
Sounds easy enough, right? Open a twitter account, make a complaint and boom, you’re really sticking it to the man.
Well, no, not exactly. Whilst complaining via twitter is one of the most powerful methods of complaining you can use, there’s a few mission critical components that you need to nail down before you can craft great complaints with Twitter that get resolved fast.
8 Golden Rules to the Perfect Twitter Complaint
#1. Keep Your Complaint Succinct
The key to a successful complaint – not only on twitter – but anywhere, is to know exactly what the problem is and why you’re upset about it. I don’t just mean have a vague idea of the problem in your head with the intention of winging it when you get on a call, but the real specifics of it.
Try to cut the problem down to the most shocking or interesting facts and then write them all down in one sentence only.
Here’s a stonking example.
#2. Don’t Be A Dick
It doesn’t matter how upset you are, ranting and raving and screaming and shouting doesn’t transfer very well WHEN YOU DO THIS JUST TO EMPHASISE FURTHER. Don’t do it, OK?
In most cases, when a complaint hits Twitter, the company you’re complaining to is more than likely going to want to try and resolve it quickly but if you start acting like a spoilt child or a bully looking for a fight you’re probably not going to get the resolution you want.
#3. Have a Solution Ready
Before you even pick up the phone, you need to have the solution ready.
What do you want the company to do about it? Give you a refund? A discount? Replace some goods?
When you give the complaints advisor a way the problem can be resolved, it makes it easier for them to resolve it for you.
Twitter-Specific Complaints Advice
Sending a complaint to a company on twitter is as easy as pie.
- log into your twitter account
- search for the company name using the search box
- review the account you think belongs to the company you want to complain to by clicking on it to see it’s past tweets
- when you’re sure you have the right account, create a new tweet
- write your complaint and include @theirusername anywhere in your tweet (but don’t start your tweet with @theirusername or else you’re complaint will be hidden from your timeline)
#4. Find The Right Twitter Username to Complain To
It can be very tempting to throw a complaint tweet right at a company’s main twitter username but sometimes it’s better to try a dedicated customer service account first (for example, BT has @BTcare, First Direct has @firstdirecthelp, Halifax has @AskHalifaxBank).
These customer service accounts usually have more authority to settle disputes than main accounts.
#5. Stick to One Tweet
Twitter only allows you to use 140 characters per tweet. You need to whittle your complaint down to 140 characters if you want to be heard.
Use the first tweet to raise your complaint and subsequent tweets (after you’ve had a reply) to resolve it. Wait for a response before you start tweeting more.
Twitter Complaints: Boss Mode
And now for the showpiece, the golden egg, the real juicy bits that turn your ordinary complaints into super complaints.
Some of this information is so powerful, you should only use it as a last resort, when all other avenues have failed.
#6. Tag in Some Heavyweights
If you don’t have the power (or number of followers) to make your complaint stick, try bringing a more influential person into the ring.
For example, you could tweet something to @LewisHamilton if you think it’s something he’d like and might share by including @LewisHamilton in the body of your tweet (but not the first word).
If he likes what you say (maybe because it’s funny or quirky or resonates with him in some way), he might retweet (repost) that tweet to his 3.4 million followers and you’ll get maximum exposure.
#7. Funny + Complaint = Successful Resolution
If you can bring a smile to someone’s face whilst complaining, we Brits love it. Here’s an example of a tweet you might want to send to a mattress company:
Apparently I snore so loudly that it scares everyone in the car Im driving. I blame my @SilentNight mattress. uncomfortable overpriced lump
I nicked this one line joke from a one line joke website – yes, many of the jokes have been heard before but we do have fickle memories and you might just find one that sticks.
#8. Bring in the Big Kahunas
Nothing stops beating around the bush like taking your complaint to the top dog, the big kahuna. If you’re particularly raging about something, you might try tweeting to the CEO of the company you have beef with.
You can usually find out who he/she is on the company’s ‘Corporate’ or ‘Shareholder Information’ pages.
Once you have a name, you could check LinkedIn for that person and you might get lucky and get a Twitter account.
Additionally, you can also try CEOmail.com, who have already done the infinitely admirable task of collecting ceo details from companies around the world (with a strong UK focus). You can’t always get the CEO’s twitter account from this site but you can usually get his/her name which might well allow you to start your own investigation.
Final Thoughts From a Chronic Complainer
It is possible to craft the perfect twitter complaint. The golden rules above will help you get your complaints resolved faster – but it still takes time. Don’t try to rush your complaints because crafting a masterpiece in 140 characters takes as long as it takes.
But when it works, it’s worth it, plus you’ll probably end up a with a few new followers in the process.
Have a look at what The Telegraph dubbed “the 10 most brilliant customer service exchanges ever seen on twitter” for an easy to digest, visual version of pretty much everything I’ve just said above.
And, finally, here’s a few more links which are useful if you feel like you need a bit more courage to help you roll up your sleeves but you want to avoid the bottle.
Happy (and successful complaining)!
Don’t forget to tweet, share and like this page if you think it’ll help your friends!
- 10 of the most brilliant customer service exchanges ever seen on Twitter
- How to Get a Company to See Your Complaint on Twitter
- How to complain using Twitter
- How To Get Your Complaint Heard On Twitter