When you are monitoring your brand’s social media mentions, you’ll probably come across less than favourable feedback about your business from time to time. How you react to this can say a lot about your brand and if it’s handled in the right way, it can actually be an opportunity to demonstrate customer service. Here are our tips for dealing with negative social media feedback.
Don’t Delete It
Your first instinct may be to delete negative feedback so that it can’t be seen by the rest of your community but unless you’re dealing with troll or spam comments, this is actually one of the worst moves that you could make.
Unless it’s removed straight away, it’s bound to have been spotted by someone. Even worse, the customer is likely to become even more irate and could return with worse feedback.
The original issue will still exist and the customer will still be aggrieved, regardless of whether the feedback is visible. Instead of hitting the delete button, it’s far better to respond to negative feedback in the right way.
Don’t Offer Generic Replies
Always be personal in your response to negative feedback. If the customer is already annoyed enough to leave negative comments, you don’t want to upset them further by offering an impersonal reply that implies that you don’t care about rectifying the issue in question.
Use It to Demonstrate Customer Service
It’s best not to reply straight away, particularly if the feedback has angered or upset you. It’s fine to walk away for a few moments to clear your head but don’t leave it too long. Most people expect a quick response on social media channels, especially in this type of situation.
When you do respond to negative feedback, think of it as a chance to publicly reiterate how much you value your customers. At the very least, you should look to acknowledge the issue that has occurred and offer a sincere apology, especially if the customer has been inconvenienced as a result of the problem.
If you don’t think that the customer is entirely correct in their grievance, it’s fine to gently highlight the actual situation. If the conversation is being read by other members of your audience, this kind of clarification can help to avoid future misunderstandings around the same issue. Even if you do not feel that your business has done anything wrong, you should still apologise for the situation that has occurred. Don’t be tempted to try to shift the blame onto the customer as this will only reflect badly on your business.
Ultimately, the goal is to resolve the situation. This may take the form of a refund or replacement item, for example. It’s usually advisable to take the conversation offline at this point. Speaking to the customer on the phone or sending them an email can go a long way towards resolving the problem. Even if they do not actually accept your attempts to remedy the situation, offering to do so in your response to their feedback act as a goodwill gesture that improves other people’s perception of your business.
Use it to Avoid Future Mistakes
Negative feedback can also be used as a way to improve the way that your business is run, particularly if you’re receiving multiple complaints about particular areas. This can be invaluable in helping to prevent negative comments in the future.