One of the many benefits of social media for businesses is the ability to connect and interact with customers on a personal level. Along with the many positive outcomes of social media, there is also the potential invitation to receive negative feedback. So how do you handle negative comments on a social platform? Follow these quick tips:
- Keep calm
It’s easy (and understandable) to get defensive about your company when someone posts a negative comment or review about your product or service. But responding out of anger, frustration or defensively, can easily back fire. Always take a step back and take a deep breath before you respond, especially if you find that a particular comment really gets to you.
- Don’t ignore or delete
It’s important that all negative comments are responded to appropriately. Never ignore or delete negative comments. Your silence will do very little to improve the situation and in fact, will likely give customers the impression that you do not care about your customers, which may result in even more negative feedback.
- Respond quickly
With the potential for negative word of mouth to travel quickly, time is never on your side. The longer you wait to respond, the more likely it is for the customer to become angrier and the issue to become escalated. Social media allows for customers to give feedback instantly, so a quick response and fast action from you is best and what’s expected from your customers.
- Be friendly and empathetic
When responding to a negative comment, communicate in a friendly manner and have empathy for the issue that has caused them frustration. Take a second to put yourself in the customer’s shoes to fully understand why he or she is angry. It may or may not be your company’s fault for the issue at hand, but in most cases a simple apology can go a long way in alleviating the issue and keeping your customer’s business. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.
- Know when to take conversation offline
Although a quick and appropriate response is best to address a negative comment, avoid lengthy back and forth discussion on your social pages and take the conversation out of the spotlight and into a more private forum, whether it’s a phone call or an email. Opening up this direct line of communication with your irritated customer gives you the opportunity to more personally address their complaint and more importantly, make it right.
For the most part, social media offers an avenue for businesses and customers to positively engage with each other, but since there is bound to be an unhappy customer from time to time, knowing how to handle it and turning your customer’s experience into a positive one will make all the difference.