Social Media: how to respond to customers

Thanks to the stratospheric rise in the use of social media, we now have more customers than ever before choosing to get in touch with us this way, either to ask a specific question, request information or report faults. So it’s never been more important for us to make sure our professionalism and attitude towards good customer service extends to our online presence.

Why? Because it’s such a public space, where incorrect information, damaging comments or bad attitude are only a ‘share’ away.

You don’t need to be a social media guru to respond to questions or fault reports sent in by our customers – although you do need to be approved by our ICT and Communications teams to use social media for work purposes. (You can raise a helpdesk call with ICT to start this process.)

Here are some top tips for those of you who’re already responding to customers, or who think they might in the future as part of their role.  We’ve cherry-picked the most relevant from the CIPR ‘Social Media Best Practice Guide’, and thrown in a few of our own for good measure.

Always acknowledge a valid customer comment or question and if you can’t respond with an answer immediately, tell them. Otherwise it looks like you’re ignoring them.

 Don’t respond to any abusive comments. These conversations can easily spiral out of control.

Plan your response. It’s better to take the time and give them an accurate answer than try to guess. Remember to check your spelling and grammar!


If you do make a mistake: admit it, apologise and correct it.

Make sure you’re friendly but professional. You can use conversational language; this is a ‘human’ platform and users appreciate the personal touch.

Don’t delete negative comments to save anyone’s blushes. It’s more damaging to our reputation. What’s better for other users is if they see we’ve responded to any negativity with correct information, in a polite and timely fashion.

Rate this Page