5 December 2011
Handling Complaints in Social Media
Luke Page explains how Mind incorporated social media monitoring into their complaints process.
Mind, the mental health charity, became a member of the FRSB in July 2011. In preparation for this accreditation we needed to review our existing fundraising complaints policy. Part of the assessment was to identify touchpoints across the organisation that were not properly equipped to manage negative feedback.
Our objective was simple: we wanted a more robust complaints procedure that formally documented how a fundraising complaint should be dealt with at every point of contact across the charity. In particular, we wanted to ensure that we were primed to react to any negative feedback that had been made using social media channels.
What we did
Firstly we established the need to incorporate social media into our existing model. We then worked in partnership with the Communications team to document an agreed approach.
The plan was straightforward, and required the Communications team to either:
- Direct the complainant to Supporter Care so that the conversation can continue offline (ie if received via Twitter); or
- When it's not appropriate to direct the complainant to Supporter Care, continue the conversation online (ie if received via Faceook)
The extract below details our current process:
- All complaints received via social media platforms will be acknowledged ASAP by the Communications team, who monitor the comments.
- When appropriate, the Communications team will then direct the complainant to Supporter Care so that the conversation can continue offline.
- When it's not appropriate to redirect the complainant to Supporter Care (offline), the Communications Team will continue the conversation online (seeking advice from other departments if required).
- Where necessary the Communications team will inform the complainant that Mind’s social networking and microblogging services are not channels for complaints (fundraising or otherwise).
- The Communications team will then notify Supporter Care of the incident and any action they have taken ASAP (but within 24 hours) by email or telephone for monitoring and quality assurance purposes.
- The Supporter Care team will then take appropriate action as described in Touchpoint 1 (not shown here) .
The challenge, as with executing any new policy, was to ensure that it had been communicated effectively, was clear to understand, and easily accessible.
As the ancient proverb goes the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
We were very fortunate to receive feedback via Twitter, which allowed us to evaluate our complaint handling mechanisms. The result, having followed the above protocol, hopefully speaks for itself…
“Great response from @MindCharity after I shared a niggle I had. Thank you for listening and obviously caring!”
We have yet to receive a fundraising complaint through our other social media channels but nonetheless are already fully prepared for such an eventuality.
"If, like Mind, you’re using social media platforms (and you value your stakeholder engagement), then incorporating these into your complaint policy is an absolute must."
Luke Page, Senior Supporter Care Officer, Mind
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