A great customer service experience can trump a negative initial exchange. For those of you who are in the process of establishing your brand, it’s important to know how to handle the (sometimes negative) world of social media. So what do you do when someone leaves you a bad review?
A bad review isn’t the end of your brand. If fact, it can be a good thing. Here’s the positive side to negative comments: You’re being given the opportunity to engage with your consumer and—hopefully—change his or her perspective. Whether voicing a concern, asking a question, or stating an opinion, your consumer should engage with you!
Here are some of our tips to responding to negative comments on social media:
In our ever-evolving digital landscape, consumers know that there are people out there whose job it is to watch a brand’s social media. Knowing this, customers expect a timely response. Try to reply as soon as possible. If you don’t respond to comments, your brand looks like it is in denial or avoiding a claim. Both are worse than simply responding!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we want to put it out there. The truth is that you will never be able to completely satisfy all of your customers—and that’s okay! It makes your brand look real and authentic. (Remember, even your favorite brands face some negativity.) The customers that love you will keep coming back and your excellent customer service may change a few naysayers. When you’re ready to respond to a comment, keep these ideas in mind:
- Take a deep breath and stay calm—don’t take the criticism to heart. You always want your employees to be open and honest, so why shouldn’t customers have the same rights?
- Thank your customer for bringing their concern/question/opinion to your attention—customers want to feel like they are being valued. Thanks Sarah for reaching out to us!
- Apologize for the lapse in quality. We’re so sorry to hear that our services didn’t live up to your expectations.
- If you can offer a short explanation or response, do it. We’re sorry our site is down, but we have our team working on it now!
- If you can’t do that or if the comment requires a more personal response, encourage the commenter to send you a private message—or take that initiative yourself. This shows that you want to hear more from the individual, but that you don’t need to air any dirty laundry on anyone’s timelines. Sarah, we’d love to hear more about your recent experience and how we can help. We’ve sent you a private message to discuss these details further.
Reiterate your thanks and apologizes in the private message. From there, you’ll need to clarify what happened to cause your customer to have an unpleasant experience. Evaluate each message on a case-by-case basis and determine the best action to follow to try to please your consumer.
But most importantly…
Say thanks, apologize, AND offer a solution. Your consumer needs to know that there is something being done to correct his or her bad experience. We have our team working on evaluating your payment now or We’re sorry you were having trouble with our checkout process. Can we offer you an extended promotion?
Don’t make excuses for what happened previously; instead, be sincere (but polite) about how you can fix the problem. Your customer will appreciate your honesty and the fact that you took the time to discuss his or her problem. The customer might be so impressed by how you handled the problem that he or she may tell other friends—which could potentially result in more customers for you!
But wait, can’t I just hide or delete the negative comments?
For the most part, no. Similar to ignoring negative comments as we discussed earlier, deleting negative comments will only hurt your brand. Show your customers you have nothing to hide and can take criticism. There are a few exceptions, however. For instance, if you believe you are getting spammed, by all means, remove the comments.
Social media doesn’t have to be scary, but it’s always good to have professionals on your side for the sticky situations. Contact us today if you need help managing your brand’s social presence!