Twitter and Facebook are great customer service channels for food trucks. But from time to time, food trucks have experienced social media complaints from their customers. For food trucks that try to maintain positive customer relations, these complaints can be a real problem. To avoid having these complaints become the downfall of your food truck business, you must be prepared to deal with them.

Are you struggling with social media complaints? Follow these five steps to help you power through them.

5 Steps To Handle Social Media Complaints

Hire A Social Media Manager

Many food truck owners we’ve spoken with have multiple people managing their social media. In other cases, there are vendors who manage their food truck profiles by themselves while dealing with all of the other business issues of running their truck. It’s important to assign one specific staff member to manage all customer service messages on social media. These should include:

  • Monitoring and listening to customers on social media.
  • Setting notifications and alerts so responses can be post on a timely basis.
  • Tracking social media complaints and outcomes.
  • Train your social media manager on how to make things right with angry customers.

Simply responding by saying that your sorry isn’t enough. It’s important that your social media manager is able to quickly make things right. This can include:

  • Offering a free menu item.
  • Sending out a gift card or discount coupon.
  • Taking action promptly.

If the staff member in charge of your food truck’s social media needs to ask for permission every time they offer a solution, it will slow down the process. This extra time will give an angry customer time to get even more upset and spread even more to their social media followers.

RELATED: Is It Time To Hire A Social Media Manager?

Keep An Eye On The Competition

Monitor how your other food trucks are doing on Facebook, Twitter and review sites such as Food Truck Reviewz. Find opportunities to differentiate your food truck from others. If you see that consumers in your area complain that a competitor’s menu prices are too high, there’s an opening to create a discount for your social media followers.

Listen To Social Media Complaints

Ignoring or deleting negative social media complaints won’t make them go away. Neither will a sarcastic or unapologetic responses that never addresses the problem. You MUST listen to complaints. Try to identify the actual problems that may be hidden within a customer rant. You may uncover ways to improve your food truck business or correct customer service issues with your employees.

Never post defensive responses. As a food truck vendor, you can learn something from every customer interaction, even the angry ones. So listen to these complaints, and then thank them for taking the time to care enough to reach out.

Address The Fundamental Problem

Handing out a refund or free meal can help fix one complaint, but don’t ignore the underlying issues that are raised by complaints. Are you receiving multiple complaints about a particular staff member, or menu item? If so, you need to correct this issue before it becomes part of a narrative centered around your food truck.

The Bottom Line

Twitter and Facebook have proven to be great for customer service in the food truck industry. Not only do customers love to get real time responses from vendors, but most feel justified by filing complaints on these networks. The key for food truck owners is how to keep their customers happy, while maintaining a good reputation in their market.

How do you address social media complaints in your food truck? Share your advice with other food truck owners in the comments section or on social media. Facebook | Twitter