Social media is one of the most effective online tools businesses use to establish trust, engage their customers, and get their views on their products or services.
Customer comments and reviews are important because it can go a long way in determining the acceptability and patronage of a brand. However, reviews are not always favorable.
There will always be customers with negative comments about your brand especially when there is something amiss in your product or service.
As a business owner or a social media manager, it is therefore important that you know how to deal with negative social media comments and reviews.
Here are proven steps to deal effectively with negative social media comments and reviews.
Look Out For These Comments
Before responding to negative reviews, you have to find them first. The social media is vast and as such people might not visit your site or social media page to post a review about your brand.
They might do it on a third party forum, their private blogs, own social media page or during online conversations with friends or followers. It is your job to be very vigilant and look out for these comments, particularly the negative ones.
Most of the times when people post a comment about your brand, they are likely to tag your social media handles or names. This will aid you in your search. Or, you can make use of social media search engines and tools such as Google Alerts.
When you find a negative comment on your business community social page or on a third party site, whether it is true or not, do your best to respond and attend to the issue quickly.
The longer a negative review remains unattended, the more doubt it creates in your customer’s mind about your brand.
However, do not delete or hide these comments. This will only show you off as a dishonest or unreliable brand and your online reputation might suffer irreparable damage.
Do not take any negative comment about your business very personally. It is important that you respond to these negative comments objectively without any hint of personal grudge or resentment.
This is true even if the reviewer’s claims about your products or services are unfair, or if the reviewer’s approach to criticizing your business is harsh and unforgiving manner.
Do not be tempted to pay back in the same coin. Always have it at the back of your mind that other customers are waiting and watching for how you will respond to the negative reviews. And as the saying goes “Customers are always right.”
Offer an Apology and a Solution
Don’t give too many excuses or try to justify the reasons why your business failed to give that customer the desired level of service. Excuses prolong the blame game situation and that is what you have to try and avoid.
Instead, put yourself in the shoes of your client, acknowledge the problem and tender an apology as well as a solution – if the problem that prompted the negative comment could still be solved.
After this you can address the problem more universally and provide the solutions on your social media pages or websites. This is important because it will prevent another customer with the same problem from giving a negative comment since you would have already provided a solution.
Create Other Complaint Channels
Some of your clients are considerate and would not want to damage your reputation or talk bad about your business online but since they were not given any option, they do it on social media.
It’s prudent to have complaint channels in place where your customers can freely make their complaints and provide negative reviews. Here you can answer them without courting too much public attention.