Thursday, 25 September 2014

How To Respond To Negative Social Media Comments

Social media offers many benefits to companies in terms of marketing and connecting with customers. But alongside this, it does carry the downside that occasionally you are going to come up against some unhappy customers who aren’t shy about sharing their views with all your other followers. When this happens – and at some point it will – it’s a good idea to be prepared.

Learn some tactics for responding to negative social media comments, such as:

Work Quickly: If someone feels they have a genuine grievance against you, then the longer they have to wait for your response to their post, the more annoyed they will get. Also, because these are public forums it means that every minute you waste is a minute that the story can be spread around other users or exaggerated. Respond calmly, telling them you are aware of their complaint and are looking into it right away. Often the biggest frustration for people is not being able to get hold of someone to talk about their issues. If they know they have your attention they are likely to calm down and be willing to work out a solution.

Be Human: Offer your name and give a sympathetic, warm response rather than a generic, corporate reply. You will find that this can go a long way towards softening people. It is far easier to deal with upset customers if you talk to them like human beings and really listen to their grievance.

Make It Right: If the mistake is on your side then you need to make a genuine apology to the customer. The next thing to do is to find a solution they will be happy with. If it is a case of a faulty product, for example, most people will usually be content to accept a replacement or refund. If they feel they have received a poor service or a member of your staff has been rude, an apology, voucher for credit or something similar will help to show that you are taking the matter seriously.

Don’t Get Into Arguments: Even if the allegation against you is unreasonable or completely false, as a company you should always be above getting into a social media slanging match. Remember that absolutely anyone can see this and it will make you look very unprofessional. If someone is being rude, aggressive or complaining just for the sake of it, you should simply give a single, calm response stating your position and then ignore them. They will normally get bored very quickly.

Keep It Open:
If you are working to fix a mistake your company has made, you may be tempted to ask the customer to take the conversation offline and email you privately. This is a mistake: it’s actually better to keep things in the open as it shows you have nothing to hide and other potential customers can see that in such cases you do your best to fix the problem. It can actually work to your benefit by giving other people confidence to buy from you, knowing that if there is a problem you can be contacted.