The. Negative. Comment.
You’re not going to immediately agree with this statement, but give us a few more paragraphs to get your buy-in on this…
YOU CAN USE NEGATIVE COMMENTS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
We know this sounds crazy to some of you, but with the right attitude, a little patience, and some self-control, you can actually turn many of these comments into something that works for you in a positive way!
Remember that old saying, “a happy customer will tell three people about you and an unhappy customer will tell 15 people about you” (there are several variations of this stat out there, but you get the point). Well, multiply those numbers…especially the negative one by a LOT, and that’s how many people are being reached with social media posts.
With so many people possibly hearing the good, the bad, and the ugly about your business through social media, it’s important to do a couple of things:
- Check your social media accounts EVERY day. This does not mean you have to post or be active every day, but you should at least look at each account a minimum of once per day to make sure you are staying on top of whatever is being said about your brand.
- Respond to ALL negative comments. More to follow on this one…
- Stay away from online ranting about customers and clients even if your personal page is separate from your business page. You just never know who is going to see that post.
- Organize all your accounts into one platform (if you have multiple accounts). This will keep you efficient with your time if you’re worried about spending too much time looking at social media.
- Ask happy customers to post, comment, or rate your page so you have some positive information about your business on the Internet.
The above list is important for managing negative comments, but let’s look at #2 in more detail…
Many business owners like to take the “high road” and not address these comments at all. But, the truth is, if someone posts something negative about your business and you don’t respond even just to say, “I’m sorry for your bad experience. We are currently working on addressing these issues now,” others who see this post are going to assume you don’t care. Even worse, they will believe the person who posted because they’ve seen nothing that refutes the information.
Take a little time to write a response in your word processing software (so you can spell check and also you don’t want to accidentally publish your post before you’re finished carefully crafting it). If the comment is the truth, openly accept responsibility and identify ways you can rectify the problem. Can you offer them a future discount? Can you send them a voucher to cover their additional expenses? Maybe you just need to contact them to get more information and find out what would make the problem better. Also, make sure that you include a sentence that let’s others know either this is not typical of your business or the problem has been resolved and it will not happen again.
If the comment is not true—which we’re seeing more of these days—take a few deep breaths. These are the hardest to respond to because you obviously want to tell the rest of the world that this person is lying. Unfortunately, meeting a response like this with too much detail and indirectly calling this person a liar will not do you any good either. Keep your response short. Although the comment is a lie, still openly apologize…a lot of people will still see this post and comment. Mention you weren’t aware of such an incident until seeing this post and hopefully in the future these types of complaints will be brought to you as they happen so you can rectify the problem immediately. Talk about your dedication to customer satisfaction and how you will continue to strive to provide your clients with the best service/product possible. That is really all there is to it. Meeting each lie one by one can get over the top and just looks bad to others.
Another rule of thumb when looking at your reviews…throw out the best comment and throw out the worst. Your real review is somewhere in between!
Need help crafting these sort of crisis responses? Contact us whenever you need help!