The social media presence of a brand attracts different reactions from people, and hence, getting negative feedback on your page shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. The time you take to respond to them, your reaction, the customer experience and the final solution you provide to criticism are vital. Your response determines the impression you leave on your potential customers and the extent to which that small manageable situation can become complicated.
The following are tips on how to deal with negative feedback in social media like a pro:
Develop a public social media policy
Let the public know about your posting policy in the “About” section and indicate the consequences of violating them. They might include being banned or the comment being deleted if the content of your feedback is hate speech, racist, flaming or vulgar language. Having these policies will ensure your customers don’t judge you as not being transparent if you ignore comments that defy them.
Tap into social listening
Customers don’t always comment directly on your social platforms. Sometimes they will criticize your brand on other online forums which you might be a member. Avoid missing important feedback by using a tool such as Google alert that can track any mention of your brand across the many social platforms in real time and notify you. With this tool, you can prevent the spread of negative information about your company while it is not yet viral.
Don’t ignore, delete or block feedback from people whom you don’t agree with. Failing to respond or taking too long to respond to negative feedback gives your customers the impression that you don’t care about them and your Public Relations. Respond to the situation right away to avoid the criticism from gaining momentum and attracting more attention. However, if you don’t have an immediate solution or answer, diffuse the situation by letting the unhappy customer know that you acknowledge their complaints and that you will get right back to them within a particular time.
Respond publicly in a polite, helpful and a positive manner
Show the transparency and attentive nature of your brand by responding to the negative feedback in public for everyone to see your response. Ensure your response is helpful, polite and genuine. Reply positively without making it personal or getting emotional. Also, avoid engaging in a debate with the unhappy customer, instead, you can publicly provide them with a link, email or contact information where you can have a one-on-one conversation offline. Establish a human connection with the customer by acknowledging their negative feedback, empathizing with them, and apologizing genuinely.
Watch out for internet trolls
You want to connect with your audience by showing that you care about their thoughts and want to solve their problems amicably. However, there will always be malicious people determined to cause trouble on social media by randomly posting unsolicited claims. If after investigating you find their claims lack merit and nobody would take them seriously, don’t vent in public. You should be confident and calm. Cautiously ignore, delete, or hide the troll’s comment to prevent the situation from spinning out of control.
Negative feedback is inevitable for any business. How effectively you deal with them is what can transform an unhappy customer to become your brand ambassador. Always remember that anyone can post on social media, and these comments are not to be taken personally. The above tips will help you to deal with negative feedback like a pro.
Keep in Touch
Want fresh perspective on communications trends & strategy? Sign up for the SHIFT/ahead newsletter.