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Managing a Crisis On Social Media

Making Guest Complaints Work In Your Favour.

Having open ports of communication with your customers is great. It allows them to double check small things with you, check out your products and properties as well as learn a little more about your business. Social media helps to reassure your customers about your business and move them a little further along in the buying process. But, what if it goes wrong? What if you misjudge a post? What if you are bombarded by complaints and don’t know how to handle them? One disgruntled guests can create posts that all of your prospective guests will see, undoing all of your work to create your reputation.

Today, we’re talking about how to handle a crisis when it when it all goes wrong on social media, and how, as a property manager, you can turn it to your advantage.


Don’t be too quick to respond. Read each post carefully so you don’t miss the inference. Make sure you know exactly what you’re dealing with and don’t respond emotionally or rashly. Read and read again to ensure that you know the problem inside out and won’t forget to check every single detail.

Is this a customer? A lead? Do they have a history with your company. Social media has a range of tools that you can use such as Twitter’s advanced search option that will let you see who you are dealing with. This can be invaluable customer research and will help you to gauge your responses carefully.

Is their complaint or statement valid? Is your company in the wrong? Check their complaint with your staff and find out what happened and what has lead up to the complaint. Many social media crises get escalated because of misunderstandings and misinformation. Know your customer and know their problem before you reply. Appearing knowledgeable and helpful helps to deflect the negative attention that complaints can gather.

Work with your team to fix the issue. The quicker you can do this from the time the complaint or question was posted, the better it will look. Always remember to inform them that you are aware of the issue and are working on it. Leaving a message unreplied to on social media is like a flashing beacon of poor customer service. If you want to send sensitive details or information privately, let people know this is what you’re doing in your comment or tweet.

Follow Up
Once the problem has been resolved, don’t just leave it there. Ask your customer if there is anything you can do, or if they have any other questions. You are showing new customers that you are prepared to go above and beyond. This is what puts a positive spin on your crisis. You listened to your customer, wanted to help and did help.

And, remember to judge the conversations you enter carefully. As a company, your silence on issues outside of your industry will never be controversial. If you are unsure whether you should tweet or post about an event or topic, err on the side of caution and don’t. There are plenty of cautionary tales about companies that manage to create their own social media crisis with a misjudged or mistimed tweet or post.

With the right crisis management you can make sure that even the worst social media problems can be spun into a positive light for your vacation rental business. Having your customer interaction out in the public will let your customers see how you deal with complaints. How you take them seriously and work hard to rectify any mistakes. Your response is always going to be judged alongside the initial complaint, and may even be under more scrutiny. Making sure your response is measured and correct will turn a social media crisis into a chance to shine.

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