Social media channels have proven to be an effective way to communicate with clientele. From rating your business on Google to leaving a review on Facebook, social media has empowered customers to be your biggest fan or your biggest critic. So what do you do when a customer posts a negative comment about your client or business? Knowing how to respond appropriately can help you resolve the situation and keep your online reputation from being tarnished. Here are five tips to help you handle negative comments:
1. Monitor online presence:Keeping track of comments on your company’s social media pages and review sites needs to be a priority. The quicker you see a negative comment, the faster you can take the necessary steps to handle the situation.
2. Train social media managers appropriately: When training the person who is in charge of responding to online comments, be sure you provide them with the same tools and expectations as you would a customer service representative. When working online, it is easy to forget that we are dealing with a human behind the username and computer screen.
3. Keep calm and stay focused on resolving the situation: No one likes to read negative comments and your first instinct is probably to get angry, defensive or just delete the comment altogether. These tactics will only give more validity to your customer’s complaints and will not help to resolve the situation.
4. Quickly acknowledge the complaint publicly, but make further conversation private: Quickly acknowledging the complaint will appease the customer by letting them know that they have been heard and it will also greatly diminish any damage to your company’s image. Simply apologize and let them know that you are going to take care of the situation and nicely ask them to contact you privately to discuss their concern in further detail.
5. Report inappropriate or invalid complaints: There are situations when acknowledging certain people’s complaints is not going to get you anywhere. From disgruntled former employees to anonymous users who are just looking to get a reaction, sometimes it is better to not engage. If you feel a review or comment is offensive or completely invalid, delete it and report the user and the comment. If you are able to, block the user from your page.
Receiving criticism in any form is never easy, but taking these few steps when responding can turn a negative into a positive for your company.