How To Guide for Addressing Negative Comments
If you are a human (good chance you are) then you have probably realized that you can’t please everybody. No matter how hard you try, you may be met with some sort of negativity. Everyone deals with negativity in their life differently. It is always going to be around and it is our choice to how we deal with it.
No, this isn’t going to be a therapy post, but it is important to understand that your business will at some point have to deal with a customer’s criticism. No business is 100% perfect, and not every customer interaction will be how you might expect. However, if you respond strategically to criticism you can actually change a customer’s experience from negative to positive.
Similar to face-to-face interactions, sometimes a healthy conversation is all that is needed to remedy a relationship. So let’s talk about all you need to know about negative feedback, and how to properly respond.
Why It’s important
- Customer feedback is an important measurement for success and effectiveness in business
- 89% of consumers read the businesses reply to reviews
- 86% of consumers report reading up to 10 reviews before trusting local businesses
Should You Always Respond?
Yes! Word of mouth recommendations carry a lot more weight than an ad or any other marketing out there. One tweet can go around the world in seconds, and go viral by the next day. This is why when faced with a negative comment you need to respond constructively, and promptly.
You should always try to find a constructive solution to the problem at hand. Like I had just stated, be sure to address an issue quickly. Leaving a comment with no response can insinuate that this negative experience did in fact happen and you have no response. This may tarnish your company’s reputation.
Leaving a comment unattended or ignored might reinforce their opinion and tarnish your company’s reputation.
How to Respond
Now that you understand why you should respond, it’s time to figure out how to respond. Here are some steps that should be taken when addressing one of these comments.
- Personally thank the customer for updating you on the issue they are facing
- Emphasize the issue and that you understand the misfortune
- Emphasize with the customer
- Privately solve the issue offline and from the public
- Offer a small kind gesture in the meantime
The people of Housecall Pro made this awesome infographic displaying some examples using strategies similar to what we have just discussed.
Never delete negative comments. This will only make things worse. It is very unlikely that this person is going to go away and if you delete their initial comment they may come back with a vengeance. Negative social media contact isn’t something you can just erase.
However, the initial poster can be asked to remove their comment after their problem has been solved. On the other hand, it is not necessarily a bad thing for other people to see a problem brought up, and then solved. If anything, it shows that you care about your customers and want to resolve any problems they may have.
Not Everything Will be Tagged
When people post about topics on social media they do not always tag what they are talking about. The same can go for your business. Don’t wait for people to contact you about their problems. You should be actively searching to see if people are talking about your business and for situations where they do not directly add your @handle to their posts.
When doing this search you may find positive comments as well! Message back and let these users know how much you appreciate them. Both positive and negative comments can be a great way to shed a positive light on your business. If both interactions can be used to further build your brand rather than hurt it, then you should actively be searching for any kind of comment regarding your business.
Remember, social media is a two-way form of communication and you should be treating it as such. Don’t just use it as an outlet for promotional materials and content. Leverage the opportunity social media provides to build your brand. Hope this has helped you further understand how to properly respond to negative comments!
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