We can all agree that social networking is a great way to engage with an audience and keep a healthy and ongoing relationship. You can increase your brand awareness, humanize your company and get in contact with what your audience actually needs and thinks about you. Naturally, there’s also a somewhat ugly side to social networking – the feared negative feedback.
As inescapable as death and taxes, you’ll eventually get negative feedback in your Facebook page or on Twitter or anywhere else. It’s a natural part of owning a business – you’ll run across someone that won’t like you or your message or whatever. So, the problem with that sort of feedback isn’t that the negative comment will be there for all to see. The problem is that you have to do something to show people that you actually care what they think, even if they don’t think you’re that great.
You can choose a lot of ways to address negative feedback but only a few ones will actually work in your favor. So, what do you have to do? And what should you avoid? Let’s check it out!
Do take it professionally
We understand – you’ve put a lot of yourself in your company, so it’s natural to feel personally attacked when someone talks trash about it. But you shouldn’t let that through. Take the time to cool down and then answer the negative comment. Try to use kind words to understand the reviewer’s experience and what has gone wrong.
Don’t ignore it
Sometimes you’ll feel that a bad review doesn’t deserve an answer. Perhaps you think that a particularly mean comment isn’t worth an answer. Well, don’t think that. Anyone that has taken the time to write to you deserves an answer. Check what you can do for the reviewer and offer an honest response – but please don’t ignore bad comments.
Do recognize your mistakes
You know what’s always wrong in any discussion? Not recognizing your fault in certain things. That always frustrate the other people involved since they feel that their complaints aren’t heard. That’s especially true in social media management in all levels. So, if someone writes in your Facebook that your product’s delivery was delayed without notice or that your services didn’t cover all the things you’ve advertised, recognize your mistakes. In other words, make sure to include an apology and restate the complaint to assure the reviewer you have heard him/her.
Don’t delete bad comments
This is one of the most frequent errors in social management. Many people believe that deleting a bad comment makes it disappear completely like it never happened. Well, guess what? It did happen – and it will come back to haunt you. If you delete a bad review without thinking twice, you’re angering your customer which, in turn, will unleash his frustration by telling anyone he knows how awful you are. Additionally, if other unrelated people sees the comment and later finds out you’ve deleted it, they’ll lose any trust they might have in you. In both cases, the bad blood will spread quick and you’ll have a big stain that’ll be hard to clean.
Do solve it – at all costs
People that take the time to write bad reviews on your social media isn’t out to get you – they are simply angry because they expected something your product or service didn’t deliver. So, the best way that this doesn’t go any further is to offer a solution to the customer in a way that makes him feel righted. You can make a refund, replace a product or offer a free checkup of whatever service you’ve offered. Remember, it’s always best to pay a little extra to show how much you value your customers than saving a few bucks now but compromising your company’s reputation.
Don’t just apologize
We’ve said that apologizing to your bad reviewers is a must and we stand by it. But leaving your response in just an apology will ring hollow and feel insincere. A frustrated customer needs action, not kind words. Comforting words won’t solve the customer’s problem and they will only serve to make him angrier. So, you should always include an apology in your response, for sure, but always offer the solution we’ve talked above. Frankly, that’s the best way you can handle this kind of situation and the only option that will leave your customer happy and your brand’s trust in one piece.
Have you ever run across a nasty comment? How did you responded to it? What did you learn from the experience?