9 tips to respond to negative comments on social media
Since gaining popularity, social media has offered countless possibilities for brands. Nowadays, many brands interact with their customers and brand advocates on social media and keep their online communities engaged. However, being active on social media is a double-edged sword, and you can receive negative feedback.
Just like brands can directly communicate with their customers, the customers can do it too. This opens up a new world of crisis management where negative feedback can quickly gain momentum, putting your brand’s reputation at risk.
Negative feedback is one of those things that every social media manager and digital marketer dreads handling. However, the possibility of receiving negative feedback is entirely normal.
While all brands love to create a memorable and pleasant experience for their customers, none of them can keep every single customer completely satisfied and happy. No matter how well a brand designs its customer journey, things can go wrong.
Whether it is a misunderstanding or a dissatisfaction with delivery, how a brand handles the negative feedback largely determines its online credibility. Therefore, it is critical for brands to be prepared to handle negative feedback beforehand.
This article goes through these simple tips for handling negative feedback.
- Don’t ignore negative feedback and listen carefully
- Be sincere when apologizing
- Stick to your word and don’t make promises you can’t keep
- Respect is key
- Move the conversation somewhere more private
- Personalize the message
- Respond quickly
- Don’t make a mistake twice
- Rebuild trust
So, let’s get started!
Don’t ignore negative feedback and listen carefully
One of the worst things a brand can do when handling negative feedback is to ignore and not respond to it.
Ignoring negative feedback gives the angry customer another reason to dislike your brand, which worsens the situation. Therefore, you should never ignore complaints.
Moreover, when handling complaints, you need to show that you are listening to the client’s problem. Don’t just assume that you know what the problem is. Listen carefully to understand where the dissatisfaction comes from.
Listening to unhappy clients with care is the first step to show them that you take the problem seriously. Therefore, your responses should be carefully crafted to convey a sense of understanding as to why the comments were made.
Be sincere when apologizing
The customer is always right, even if you don’t think so. Therefore, brands should always say sorry and apologize when they receive negative feedback.
Sincerity goes a long way when trying to apologize to a frustrated customer. A part of an excellent sincere apology is not to divert blame. Brands need to take accountability, and diverting the blame will illustrate your brand as irresponsible and untrustworthy.
Stick to your word and don’t make promises you can’t keep
Do you know what makes an angry customer angrier? Promising something and not following through!
Imagine you file a complaint with a service you are not satisfied with, and they promise to look into the problem and get in touch in a couple of days. But a few weeks go by, and you hear nothing, and when you contact them again, they do it again! You will undoubtedly become furious and probably never use their services again! And just like that, the brand builds itself an enemy for eternity.
When receiving negative feedback, you need to analyze the situation and offer a solution that can best solve the problem. By making empty promises, you only paint your brand as unreliable.
Respect is key
It’s not always easy to keep calm when a customer leaves a rude comment under a social media post. But you need to be respectful and polite if you want to best handle the situation. Keep in mind that how you communicate directly reflects your brand.
You should never use swear words, even if the customer uses them. And it would help if you never got into arguments with them. What would your loyal customers think if they saw you arguing with an unhappy customer and swearing at them?
Move the conversation somewhere more private
The best way to handle negative feedback on social media is to respond to it publicly and then move the detailed conversation to somewhere private. For example, you can continue communicating with the unhappy customer in direct messages, via email or by phone call.
This strategy will showcase your brand as transparent, attentive, and helpful and help you maintain your brand’s image.
Personalize the message
Angry customers want to feel that a brand cares about their problems. They want to feel heard. So, replying to negative feedback on social media with a generic and automated response will not reduce their anger and improve their perception of your brand.
Showing empathy is a great way to turn an angry customer into a loyal brand advocate. When unhappy customers see that genuinely want to solve their problems and realize that you care about them, they are more likely to restore their trust in your brand.
Response time matters, and you need to reply to negative feedback as quickly as possible. Do not let your angry customer wait for your reply or think that you are ignoring them.
Furthermore, when you respond to negative feedback quickly, you signal the unhappy customer as well as others who are reading the feedback that you as a brand care.
Moreover, quickly responding to negative feedback allows you to shape the conversation before others and take control over the narrative before it gets out of hand.
Don’t make a mistake twice
It is essential to learn from past mistakes so that you do not repeat them. Everyone understands that mistakes can happen, and if you fix it right, you might be surprised by how forgiving people are.
However, you should not make a mistake twice. If you face similar complaints regularly, you need to take those complaints seriously and try to solve the problem within your organization.
Considering negative feedback as a source of information and learning from it can help you improve your brand’s products and services.
As mentioned earlier, receiving negative feedback is a natural occurrence on social media platforms as it is impossible to deliver an impeccable experience to every customer your business has. No matter how great your product or services are, some people will not like them or the process.
Nevertheless, you can always rebuild your unhappy customers’ trust by properly correcting a mistake. Receiving negative feedback is the perfect opportunity to right what was wrong.
You cultivate a deep and meaningful relationship with your unhappy customers by inviting them to your online community and benefitting from their input. Asking them to join your branded community shows that you greatly appreciate their feedback and care about them.
If you want Pukket to help you build trust and create an influential online community, fill out this form, and we will contact you.