Social media is an indispensable tool to market your business and engage with potential customers. But with opportunity comes risk – we’ve all seen businesses encounter customer backlash on their social media accounts. That’s why skillfully handling negative comments is crucial to success. Take advantage of these tips on how to effectively navigate a social media attack and avoid a brand meltdown.
Do all you can to investigate. Sometimes, you’ll get spam or someone who simply likes to rant and rave online. Don’t ignore it. Find out if the post is legitimate. Do whatever you can to contact the person who posted the comment– if you don’t have a phone number or email, try to find them on Facebook®, Twitter®, LinkedIn®, etc.
If you don’t get a response or simply cannot confirm if the post is from a real person or not, state that you have reached out to the individual but cannot get a response and that you’re going to delete the post. This way, everyone on your site will know you’ve tried to address the negative comment and the person (real or not) has not been ignored.
Act immediately. This is crucial. You want the matter addressed as soon as you become aware of the negative post. Apologize and work through the situation. Once the issue is resolved, ask the customer if they mind posting again and saying you contacted them. Or you can make a post describing what was done to solve the problem. Responding to the public shows everyone that you’re listening and demonstrates that your office cares about how customers feel, whether good or bad.
Take the comment as constructive criticism. Consider the adage “The customer is always right.” This may not mean they get their way no matter what, but it should guide the tone of your response. No matter how rude and insulting the comments, don’t reply with rudeness or insults of your own; this will only invite more negativity.
Instead, thank the commenter for the feedback, and make an effort to investigate and correct the problem. Once you get past the angry words, what is the customer really trying to tell you? Could you improve their experience by providing better service in the future? Did you or your company make an honest mistake, or was there a communication problem? Listen to the comments and examine your business practices to see if there’s a need for change.
Find the opportunity. We often don’t want to hear the “bad stuff” about our business, but social media attacks can offer learning experiences that will help your business grow. Doing a good job of handling difficult situations will work in your favor, and may salvage a customer relationship – and your brand’s reputation.
Source: How to Respond to Social Media Attacks from Zillowblog.com