Types of Social Media Complainers

Types of Social Media Complainers

Online Customer Service

If your social media management programme doesn’t include a customer service plan then you urgently need to revisit your strategy because it’s a vital component. Social media blunders often occur due to the operator not understanding who they are speaking to especially when it comes down to complaints.

Recipients of the customer complaints often tend to take things personally when in actual fact all the “complainer” is doing is expressing their experience with your brand. At the end of the day, all a customer wants is to be given attention so their situation is resolved professionally. To be excellent at customer service you first need to understand the types of complainers there are. Take a look at this infographic and reflect on how you would handle each type of experience.



The Meek Customer generally will not complain. However, they will post or comment on Facebook or Twitter when they have really been pushed to the edge. The Meek Customer will often have little to no history of complaining and is often just looking to be reassured that their voice is heard.

Solution: A simple and public “I am sorry” on the social channel used for their comment will usually rectify the situation and turn the Meek Customer into a passive brand advocate.


The Aggressive Customer readily complains, often loudly and at length. However, if you solve the problem for this customer in a quick and efficient manner, you are likely to have a very vocal and prolific brand advocate through all social channels.

Solution: Always take this consumer offline through direct messaging or email. Listen completely and ask “What else?” Agree that a problem exists, and indicate what will be done to resolve it.


The High-Roller Customer expects the absolute best and is willing to pay for it. They are likely to complain in a reasonable manner, unless they are a hybrid or the aggressive customer. They are interested in results and what you are going to do to recover from the customer service breakdown.

Solution: Always listen respectfully and actively, questioning carefully to fully determine cause. Quickly and publicly acknowledge the issue online and go offline to correct the situation.


For the Opportunist Customer, the goal is not to get the complaint satisfied, but rather to win by getting something the customer is not entitled to receive. A consultant and repetitive “not good enough” response to efforts to satisfy this customer is a sure indicator of an opportunist.

Solution: Remain unfailingly objective. Use accurate quantified data to back up your response. Consider asking “What can I do to make things right?” after the first “not good enough”.


The Chronic Complainer is never satisfied, there is always something wrong. This customers mission is to whine. Yet, they are your customer, and as frustrating as this customer can be, they cannot be dismissed. In spite of their constant complaining they tend to be good customer and will tell others about your positive response.

Solution: Extraordinary patience is required, but a two-way dialogue should never take place through social channels. One must listen carefully and completely and never get angry.

How do you handle the different types of complainers on social media? What is the secret to your customer service?

Blog by Daniela Bascelli

Daniela Bascelli (Social Media and Digital Marketing Specialist | Founder at Onyx Digital Team). Follow Daniela on Twitter: @danielabascelli and follow the team @onyxdigitalteam. For more information on our upcoming social media training and service offerings, please contact us.

About Onyx Digital Team

The Onyx Digital Team is a group of social media and digital experts based in South Africa, dealing with local and international companies. We are available for global strategy consulting and training to assist clients in creating meaningful and interactive online relationships, adding value to their customers. With vast digital and social recruitment experience we have also become the “go to marketing strategists” in creating compelling online campaigns for launches and advertising. We also arrange social media teams at events to create content for social networks for added publicity and exposure.

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Daniela Bascelli

Digital Marketing Specialist/CEO at Onyx Digital
My passion and dedication to the industry has inspired wide transformation where companies have adopted the “social business” mind-set and key online-strategies being incorporated as a tool to offer more value to their target-audiences whilst creating high visibility for themselves.
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