How to win back unhappy customers with social media

You can’t have a Facebook page, put yourself out there in the world of social media, and only expect positive comments. Negative comments will come at some point. And when they do, this is your chance to turn the situation around. Let’s have a look at my recent experience with A La Carte Maps.


Imagine: you order a product on a website. The website claims it can deliver it within 4 to 7 days. It has been almost a month, so you wonder what is wrong with your order. You reach out for them via email. You don’t get a response. You check the company’s Facebook page, it is very active, so you decide to ask your question there.

And there it happens. Your wall post gets deleted. You wait 15 minutes to see if anyone tries to send you a Facebook message. Nothing.

As a social media lover, you obviously complain on Twitter.


You post another comment on the Facebook page, asking them why they deleted your comment. And finally, someone sends you a Facebook message.


You’re still angry. So when your answer, you tell them deleting negative comments is wrong.

But then something great happens: you receive a second message, and it all makes it better.

Long email

How did A La Carte Maps manage to turn the situation around?

1) They apologized

Yuan apologized for my bad experience. She took the time to write a long Facebook message to apologize not only for my bad experience but also for deleting my Facebook comments, stating explicitly that it was a mistake.

2) They used the right words

Yuan’s apology is very sincere. This is an essential point when you are trying to deal with negative comments. For example, she mentions it is “Sunday” and that her business partner was “worried” and that they are not “social media experts”. As I mentioned in a previous post, it is always important to have a compassionate tone when you deal with customers.

3) They are willing to learn from their mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. But not everyone is ready to learn from them, a case in point could be the Jacqueline Howett’s fiasco. When you make a mistake, apologize and make sure you learn from it, not to make it again in the future.

4)  They offered me a “we’re sorry” gift

This is a very smart move from Yuan. In her last message, Yuan offers to ship another map as a gift. Boom, I’m on their side now.

Lessons for the future

As MediaPost showed recently, 18% of customers who posted a negative review of the merchant and got a reply ended up becoming loyal customers and buying more. When you have to deal with negative comments, remember there are a few things you should do:

  • Think before you act
  • Respond quickly
  • Take the matter offline by sending the customer a Facebook message or asking for her/his email
  • Do NOT delete the comment


Finally, I would like to stress that it is essential to teach your entire team about social media best practices. Social media is a 24/7 job, and yes, weekends included. The social media manager from A La Carte Maps would have probably not deleted my comments, but since it was the weekend, someone else thought deleting my comment was the right thing to do. It is important to teach your whole team about how to deal with comments on the Facebook page or on any social network, so that mistakes can be avoided.

A La Carte Maps, you won back a customer with your excellent customer service, congratulations.
Have you ever had a bad experience with a brand and decided to forgive them? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts!

  • jackson

     Great Article Natalia!

    • Hey Jackson,

      Thanks for dropping by :) Glad you liked the article!

      Come and join us for some fab’ time in King’s next week! I’ll be there from Tuesday 9 am :-) ! 

      Hope to see you soon,
      x N