Public negative feedback is every business owner’s worst nightmare. Social media makes it easier than ever before for customers to post complaints and criticism all for the world to see. How you respond to negative feedback has an impact your reputation.
Customers want to know that they are appreciated and valued by the brands they buy from. With this in mind, check out our tips for handling negative feedback like a pro.
- Track Your Mentions
While people will use social media to sound off about your brand, they won’t always do you the favour of tagging your company directly. In order to respond to feedback, you need to be aware of what your customers are saying about your brand. Keep an eye on all hashtags, mentions, keywords, and links that are connected to your brand. You can even set up a Google Alert to notify you when certain key phrases have been used anywhere on the internet.
- Sometimes No Response Is the Best Response
Not all negative feedback deserves a response, so pick your battles. As your brand grows and gains a larger audience, you may see an uptick in trolling or inappropriate comments that spout derogatory sentiments. These comments are often provocative for the sake of eliciting an emotional response. It is best not to engage directly. Instead, include a set of community guidelines on your page where customers can see what kind of comments your brand will not tolerate, and delete any comments that violate these guidelines.
- Timing Matters
Part of the reason why so many customers turn to social media to vent their frustrations is that they expect that online complaints will receive a faster response. The majority of social media users believe companies should be responding within an hour or two. Unanswered comments can foster even more frustration and upset leading to more negative feedback. Part of building ongoing customer loyalty is maintaining a quick response time.
- Avoid Using Dismissive or Accusatory Language
Resist the urge to fight back. Using language that dismisses a customer’s concern or implies the customer is to blame for the issue is a BIG no-no. Make use of your active listening skills and work to acknowledge the criticisms raised; and do not forget to be specific in your reply. A customer that feels heard and valued is much more likely to be receptive to any solutions you can offer them.
- Engage in Public Then Continue the Conversation One-On-One
Make your initial reply in public so that the customer and anyone else reading is aware that you are present, honest and approachable. Public replies show your customers and prospects that you are actively reading their feedback which will encourage them to engage with your social media pages.
After you have made your public reply, initiate a private conversation with the commenter through direct messaging. In a private exchange you will be able to discuss their complaint and gather account information or order details without jeopardizing their privacy.
No one can do it all on their own. If you need someone with expertise in social media management to monitor your socials and engage with customers, contact us! Our diverse team includes community managers with the know-how to help you navigate those comments.