How Businesses Should Handle Negative Comments on Social Media
Social media can be an excellent asset for businesses. It’s used for marketing, branding, communicating with customers, and even customer service. But it’s also a double-edged sword. After all, it’s a public forum, and you can’t control what others say, so you can expect to receive some negative feedback where everyone can see. This can be pretty scary, but it should not put you off social media. In fact, the way you handle negative comments on social media can completely turn the situation around in your favor. So don’t see negative feedback on social media as a threat; instead, look at it as an opportunity
Handle negative comments on social media promptly and responsibly
You mustn’t forget that, on social media, everyone is watching you. You don’t want other customers coming across unchallenged negative feedback – it could turn them off from your business. So, respond quickly and resolve issues before they severely impact how other customers view your business.
Don’t ignore or hide negative comments
Ignoring negative comments is possibly the worst thing you can do. The dissatisfied customer will feel like their opinion doesn’t matter; other customers will assume the disgruntled customer is right. So don’t shy away from responding. If you’re not sure what to say, consider posting a holding response just to acknowledge you’ve seen the criticism and are working on resolving the issue. You may consider deleting negative comments or hiding them, but this would be a mistake. It is always apparent when a business is hiding negative reviews, and for most potential customers, that’s a red flag.
Don’t engage in public arguments
You’ve heard the saying that the customer is always right. Even if that isn’t true, you should act like it is. You never want to appear as if you are arguing with customers – it’s bad form, and your next social media audit will undoubtedly show the adverse effects of such poor behavior. Instead, continue the conversation in private. In your public response, tell the customer to check their DMs. That way, you’re both addressing the feedback and maintaining a good public image.
Don’t make false promises
Telling an unhappy customer that you’ll do something for them and then not following through will only make them angrier, so don’t promise things you cannot accomplish. Be realistic in your response – a decent solution you can offer is better than a perfect one you cannot turn into reality.
Respond to negative comments with grace and sincerity
It’s hard not to take negative feedback personally sometimes. But you must learn how to handle it kindly, politely, and maturely.
Be polite and personal
Fighting fire with fire is a bad idea when trying to build relationships with customers on social media. Instead, keep your cool. Respond politely even when the customer is not giving you the same courtesy. Try to sympathize with the customer. If they’re hurt or angry, they may not be reacting rationally. It’s up to you to respond to their concerns in a way that doesn’t escalate the situation.
Apologize sincerely and give a good explanation
You should always start your reply with a sincere apology for the customer’s poor experience. This shows that you care about them and their feelings. If you can, explain what caused the issue. It may help them understand your side. However, don’t try to make excuses, as it will only make you look worse.
Offer a solution to the problem
An apology is a good start, but you won’t actually help the customer if you don’t resolve their issue. If they’ve received the wrong product in their recent order, offer to replace it. If they have problems with placing an order, try to make your website more accessible for them. Offer them a refund if you’re out of other options. It’s better to lose out on the profits of one purchase than alienate customers by treating them poorly.
How to handle negative comments on social media long-term?
Some negative feedback is always to be expected. You cannot make everyone happy, no matter how good you are at what you do. But if you are constantly receiving negative feedback about something specific, then it’s time to ask yourself if you’re doing something wrong. Use the information you get from negative comments to improve your products, services, and business overall. You’ll find social media marketing and branding to be much easier when you remove the cause of most of your negative feedback.
Don’t let the potential for negative feedback stop you from using social media
Negative comments on social media can be discouraging. But that doesn’t mean you can forego social media altogether. Your website is not enough for a robust online presence these days. You must branch out to social media as well if you want to gain customers and build a brand. Besides, social media can vastly improve your website. By embedding your Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts into your website, you can inform visitors with social media feeds, allow them to communicate more easily with you, and encourage them to spread the word about your business. You shouldn’t sacrifice all these benefits of social media just because there’s a risk of negative comments.
Turn negative feedback on social media into a positive brand image
If you handle negative comments on social media well, you can turn them into something positive. First of all, you can change the mind of the customer who left the comment by treating them properly. Sometimes, just acknowledging their feelings is enough, but an apology goes a long way, too, as does fixing the problem. By responding well to negative feedback, you can further show potential customers that you care about providing them with the best possible experience. A prospect who sees you taking the time to improve after receiving negative feedback will be more likely to convert because they’ll know they can also expect similar treatment even if something goes wrong. Not only will all this help you gain and keep customers, but it will also help you build a positive brand.
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