Last week, I discussed the importance of social listening for your brand. This topic sparked a further discussion into responding to negative feedback. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are faced with negative content.
Don’t Take it Personally
Dealing with negativity can be very challenging especially when someone types a comment or post out of anger. Remind yourself to stay calm and not to take it personally. People get behind their keyboard and go at a brand while forgetting a person is on the other side of it too. If you react in your response, you will only escalate a situation. Another thing to keep in mind is that some people exaggerate situations in the hopes of free stuff. This is not true for all. Some people are genuinely bringing an issue to your attention. This is an important reminder before drafting a response.
Write a Response and Proof it
I find it works best if you read the negative comment, review, or post at least twice. This helps make sure you understand what the issue is. Then you can write a response that fits. It’s good to apologize especially if their experience sounds like it wasn’t up to your brand standard. When looking further into their visit, don’t be afraid to ask for specifics like which locate, date and time. It’s also a good idea to have them private message you. This allows you to discuss the issue in more detail and get more information without outside commentary. Always proofread your response before sending (there is nothing worse than a typo to an angry customer). Lastly, some instances will require you to follow up with the person. It is very important to do so. It shows their feedback actually matters and that is really what most people are looking for.
Know When to Stop Responding
There are situations where people will refuse to private message you. They will continually comment on a post or review and seem to ignore any response you give them. Use your discretion when dealing with these types of situations. You won’t be able to make amends with everyone situation that comes up but if you tried responding, that is all you can do. Don’t get in an ongoing debate.
The “Hide” Option is Your Friend
Some people just like to post their rude comments. For example, we have posted pictures of food for our clients and every once in a while get someone that comments “ew gross”. Mind you, numerous other comments specify how delicious but there always has to be the person to rock the boat. These are comments we tend to let them be. This person isn’t sharing about an experience, they don’t have any constructive criticism. This is when the hide button comes in handy. We hide these comments to deter unnecessary negativity on the page.
The responses needed for negative content vary but if you stay calm, unbiased, and kind, you will have an easier time dealing with these situations. Most of the time, you’ll turn an unsatisfied customer into an appreciative fan who felt their opinion matter. This will go a long way in terms of the loyalty of your customers.