Keyboard Warrior: How to Deal With Customer Complaints Online
A keyboard warrior is an outspoken individual who leaves aggressive comments on social media, review sites, forums, and blog posts. In many cases, they don’t reveal their true identity, making it challenging for businesses to manage such abusive comments online.
The visibility of such negative complaints is a significant concern for organizations and customer service professionals. Customer service staff need to be properly trained to handle these complaints strategically to maintain a positive business reputation.
Negative comments can harm the brand’s image online and as a result, its growth and revenue. When a keyboard warrior leaves a negative review or comments, it is vital to handle their feedback with care.
How do you effectively manage customer complaints online? Let’s find out!
Keyboard Warrior – Defining the Term
Understanding the term “keyboard warrior” will help you become aware of who keyboard warriors are and what they do. Oftentimes, they use the anonymity of the computer screen to leave harsh complaints or comments.
Why would they leave complaints that are so harsh and aggressive? Sometimes, these complaints are made for legitimate reasons. They could be existent customers who have had a negative experience or are dissatisfied with the product or service they received.
Often, a keyboard warrior is uncomfortable with face-to-face confrontation, so they use online platforms to vent their frustrations. This sense of invisibility gives keyboard warriors a sense of courage to make negative statements online that they wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing in person.
What Role Does a Keyboard Warrior Play In Customer Service?
Customer complaints play a prominent role in your business’s reputation and everyday operations. Anytime a customer is unhappy, it can significantly impact your existent relationship and their loyalty to the business. A company is only as effective as the relationships it builds, so handling all complaints properly is essential to its success. Unfortunately, 79% of online complaints are ignored and left answered by businesses.
The visibility of keyboards warriors’ complaints makes their comments even more critical to address. Unlike one-on-one customer complaints, keyboard warrior complaints are visible to the public. For this reason, customer service professionals must take the right steps to address them in a timely manner, so the situation doesn’t escalate any further. One wrong move could result in a public relations issue, decreased customer trust, and a poor business reputation.
How to Properly Handle a Keyboard Warrior
Handling any complaint is a delicate process that requires tact, patience, and professionalism. However, when dealing with a complaint from a keyboard warrior, you will need to be extra careful.
You should first understand that the complaint – no matter how aggressive it is – is not a personal attack. A keyboard warrior feels empowered and invisible behind the screen. This makes it easy for them to use language that is rude, hurtful, or argumentative in nature.
Although their words may be hurtful, you have to acknowledge that the issue comes from a place of frustration. If you feel upset by the situation, step away from the keyboard and take a few minutes to compose yourself before responding to their complaint.
For example, a professional response could include the following language, “We are sorry to hear you are unhappy with our services, and we are here to assist you in any way possible.” A sincere apology and recognition of their feelings will help to diffuse the situation. After all, most keyboard warriors are looking to get a reaction and acknowledgment of their feelings.
Here are six more tips on how to handle a keyboard warrior complaint:
1. Process Is Key
In this day and age, you need to have a cohesive plan in place to handle complaints made on online platforms. Some companies might allocate a budget for hiring a social media management team or assign this task to a customer service representative. This division of your customer service support team will be tasked with monitoring posts, comments, and complaints via your social media channels. By paying close attention to all comments, you can either handle them yourself or pass them on to the proper department.
2. Understand Keyboard Warrior’s Intention
Your first step should be to identify the customer’s intention and tone before addressing their comment. Typically, negative comments on social platforms come in two forms – constructive criticism or trolling (intentionally making negative comments to get a reaction). If the latter, you will need to use your judgment whether the comment should be addressed, ignored, or deleted. If you are unsure, it’s best to discuss with the team or your manager to make sure it doesn’t escalate the situation.
If the negative feedback is legitimate, it must be addressed quickly and sincerely. The interaction should start with a sincere apology. Then, you should address the customer’s needs to your best ability. If you do not have the resources to assist them, then you should request help from the team or direct them to someone who has the tools to assist them.
3. Think Twice Before Removing
When a keyboard warrior leaves negative feedback, it can be very tempting to simply remove their negative comment. This could be a mistake for several reasons. The first is that removing the comment does not get rid of the problem. In fact, deleting their comments will likely result in more aggressive complaints and comments from the keyboard warrior.
Another concern is that removing it does not ensure that other customers haven’t already read it. Taking the comment down may appear unprofessional to those customers who have already seen it. This action could make them doubt the trustworthiness and transparency of your company. Having said that, in some cases the comments include offensive language that is not appropriate. Use your judgment and take time to think of different ways you can address the problem.
4. Be Positive
Criticism is challenging to assimilate, but it may be even more difficult when it comes from a keyboard warrior. Reading aggressive language may make you feel left frustrated, so remind yourself not to take it close to heart. The best rule of thumb is to stay positive and professional.
5. Take the Conversation Offline
Taking the conversation offline is a great solution. This will show other customers that you are proactive and allow you to carefully address the situation one-on-one.
Here is an example of what you could say:
“We are truly sorry to hear about your negative experience and would love to resolve this issue right away. Could you please reach out to our customer care team (email address) or call us at (phone number). We look forward to hearing from you and resolving this issue as soon and as possible.”
6. Follow up With the Keyboard Warrior
One of the most effective ways to diffuse customer complaints and prevent them from happening again is to follow up. The keyboard warrior will be less likely to repeat their actions if you send a quick email or make a phone call after the issue has been resolved. Touching base with the customer can help to ensure that they are happy with the resolution and shows that you value their loyalty and business.
Another follow-up method is to post on the online channel where the original comment was made. For example, you could say: “[Insert name], we are happy we could resolve this issue for you and look forward to building our relationship in the future.”
Following up below their comment will show your other customers that the company is solution-focused and trustworthy. The comment should be made after the issue has been addressed and the and the keyword warrior is satisfied with the solution.
- The rise of social media and various online platforms allows a keyboard warrior to anonymously post aggressive comments that could hurt your company reputation
- Negative complaints from keyboard warriors are visible to the public and require extra attention and care.
- Having a step-by-step process and social media training is vital to successfully manage online complaints
- You must remain professional, positive, and solution-focused when dealing with keyboard warriors
- When possible, take the issue offline to address it one-on-one
- Once the problem has been resolved, follow up publicly to demonstrate that the company is customer-centric and proactive
CustomersFirst Academy offers comprehensive customer service training designed to help you grow your skills and advance your career.
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