We have been talking about the benefits of user-generated content in some of our past posts, but we still haven’t mentioned a very important part of the communication that we have on our site with our customers. Dealing with the negative comments, Social Media is such a powerful way to engage with your users, have conversations with them, improve the branding and web traffic and of course sales, so we have to be prepared when the possible criticism arrives so instead of weakening our business, it makes it stronger.
How you handle negative comments in the online world is more important for your customers, than reading great reviews about your products.
Every time there is an angry customer, you are not just dealing with him or her, you are dealing with the thousands of other silent ones connected to your social platform who are watching how you react and dealing with this one.
Most negative feedback on the internet falls into one of the following categories: a business error, a misunderstanding, a negative comment or spam.
So, which is the best way to react to the negative comments we may get?
1-. Speed counts: Facebook users expect to be responded when they leave a comment within 24 hours and in twitter, within 2 hours. When negative comments are left on your site, I would recommend not to take more than 24 hours. If you don’t have an answer for the comments, the best way is to acknowledge it first and explain your customer you are taking the necessary steps to give him/her a solution for his/her problems.
2-. Be honest: Your customer doesn’t expect you to be perfect. If he is right, apologize and offer an appropriate solution to the problem, the chances are that they will be much more engaged to you and your brand.
3-. Don’t ignore the spam: In some cases you will find yourself in a situation where you receive complaints or negative comments that are totally unfounded. My advice is to accept them and answer them the same as if they were legitimate offering them to continue the conversation offline if it was necessary.
4-. Be kind: don’t take it personally, although sometimes users can sound tough, they just want an answer to their problem so try to be patient and respectful.
5-. Sound human: B2B and B2C are over, now we are in the H2H (human to human) communication era. Your customers want to relate to a person not a corporation, so being empathetic with his complains and authentic when talking to them is key. They understand that humans make mistakes and will understand and forgive.
6-. Never delete or ignore a bad comment. Censoring critical voices can upgrade a simple bad review to a viral anti-branding campaign with the so-called Streisand effect.
And always remember, with a little love and understanding, your biggest critics can sometimes be converted to your best brand ambassadors.
This post is also available in: Spanish