Every small business is going to have to deal with the occasional negative comment or review. It’s nothing to panic about; it’s just the nature of social media. Your gut reaction may be to delete the comment or ignore it altogether. Often times this is the worse possible strategy. Think of these comments the same way you would any other customer service interaction. Below are a couple tips to help you turn a possible problem into a positive consumer experience.
Respond in a timely manner.
Just like any customer service issue that you are dealing with in the physical world, it’s important that your customers know that you are listening. Make sure that you are responding in a timely manner. Often times people just want to know that there issue has been heard. By responding quickly, you are proving to customers that your company cares about their concerns and wants to rectify the situation.
Think of negative comments as an opportunity to interact one-on-one with your consumer base. There is nothing unusual about a negative review turning into positive review if customers feel like the issue was handled in a positive fashion.
Have a sense of humor/ be a good sport
Nothing defuses a heated situation like a sense of humor. So don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself. Being a good sport is a great way to make yourself the good guy in the situation. Check out how this Netflix rep proved that by having a little fun you can turn a potential problem into a positive customer experience.
Make it a team effort
Empower your team to deal with customer complaints the same way they would in your physical space. Trust your team’s judgment when reaching out to people via social media. Every situation is going to have a variety of unique variables that must be worked around. Empower your team to make the appropriate decisions to quickly diffuse potential problems.
Take big conversations offline.
It’s totally reasonable to reach out to people by asking for an email address, phone number, or taking your conversation into a private chat session. Just because an issue was first addressed on social media doesn’t mean it needs to be resolved there.
Don’t feed the trolls.
What’s a troll? According to Wikipedia : “a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”
If you feel that you are dealing with someone who is not willing to contribute in a worthwhile conversation, than this is the one time the best strategy is to just leave him or her alone. “Trolls” are just trying to get a reaction out of you. They’re not trying to actually resolve any issue or voice any concern.
Have any tips or tricks on how to handle negative reviews or comments? We would love to hear what you’re doing. Feel free to share your strategies in the comments area below.