The rise of social media has changed customer service beyond recognition.
Gone are the days of hanging on the end of the line to customer services and listening to the repetitive 'on hold' tunes. Nowadays consumers will head straight to Facebook and Twitter to voice their complaints and opinions knowing that this way it will reach a wider audience and provoke a reaction.
Complaints through social media may seem damaging to a brand's name but really it's a great way to deal with the complaint head on and show a customer audience how responsive, proactive and helpful you want to be.
By giving your customers a place to talk you can quickly respond and resolve issues which will hopefully result in a satisfied customer who will advocate your brand. Ignoring a complaint will not only result in an irate customer who may continue to post negative comments, but you will also risk losing other customers who have witnessed the poor or lack of customer service from your brand.
Now, a brand Facebook page isn't all about complaints, if you're lucky you may also get the odd compliment too! Similarly with complaints these should also be responded to, to show your appreciation for the kind words.
As with all social channels you can't control the conversation but if you develop a clear strategy for handling and escalating complaints appropriately, and responding well to praise, you can intercept customer comments and turn almost any situation into a positive; whether that's by dealing with the issue there and then, or taking it away from the page and to a dedicated customer service section.
Either way by proactively interacting with your customers who are talking about your brand you are showing them that you are listening and that you care about what they have to say, and just ignoring them really isn't an option.