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How to deal with negative reviews on social media

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The social media is a double edged sword. Positive reviews can be a big boost to rope in new customers, but negative reviews have the opposite effect. In many instances, a barrage of negative reviews can even sound the death knell for the business. In today’s hyper connected world, hell hath no fury than a customer scorned! So here are three ways to deal with negative reviews on social media platforms:

1. Understand the nature of the complaint
Understand the gist of the complaint upfront. Is it genuine deficiency of service? Is it a case of expectations not matching reality? Is the customer blowing things out of proportion? Is it a case of a competitor trying to show the business in poor light? Take a balanced and nuanced view. Understand things from the customer’s point of view, not just from the perspective of the business.

Whatever be the reason, hear the customer, empathise with him, diagnose the problem, and offer a quick resolution.

2. Make the most of the bad situation
Deleting a negative comment is the worst thing to do. Nothing prevents the customer from taking it elsewhere. A social media page with only glowing testimonials may make users doubt the legitimacy of the reviews. Negative comments actually infuse authenticity to the positive reviews in the mix. What really matters is how the business chose to react to the negative comments.

Timely response is of key essence. Explain the facts in a clear cut and detailed way, before offering an apology, repair, replacement, some compensatory offers, or simply clarifying things from your point of view. Even when the person who made the complaint is not satisfied, a comprehensive and detailed reply is the best bet to gain the confidence of prospective customers who would be reading the posts.

3. The Customer is Always Right
The worst thing to do is pick up an argument with a customer. The customer is always right, even when he is not! It is far better to apologise and let things go, while making sure to clarify the business’s point of view. Even when an exchange of communication is inevitable, take it offline, or through private chat, or email, rather than make the exchanges in the public forum.

Also, make sure to set a pleasant tone rather than issue curt responses that may get under the skin of an already irritated customer. Many neutral readers respect businesses that reply to a harsh comment in a calm and helpful way.

Always engage with an unhappy customer on a personalised basis, and try to delight him with the hope that he may remove the negative review, or better still, post a follow up on how the business took care of his complaint.

Treat genuine negative reviews as free consultancy for the business. Document the negative reviews and share it across the board, so that the workforce can take proactive steps to pre-empt such instances.

It is impossible to genuinely please each and every customer, and negative reviews are an inevitable part of running a business. The key is to identify such reviews early, before they get out of hand, and address them on a proactive basis.

Creative Ideaz offers comprehensive turnkey solutions to monitor your brand’s mention in the social media space, and take proactive interventions when negative comments pop up. Get in touch with us at 0845 0942153 today.

Posted by Kirien on March 14th, 2016

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