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How to deal with negative social media comments

Posted on 11th Feb at 11:59am

Category: Social media

Social Media has fast become part of our daily life as businesses and marketers. It's such a great way to get the word out about your business in a cost effective way  and a great way to engage with your business and customer community. 


 There are many advantages to using social media but there are downsides too.  If a customer has a bad experience of your product/services then there is every possible chance that at some point you could fall victim to a negative review/comment. 


There have been some high profile examples of this in the last 12 months or so in the services industry and this is now something that is unavoidable  because something that pleases one person may not please another. But a bad review doesn't have to be a bad thing - often people reading reviews can read between the lines of what the person has said and more than often you can spot someone who just has a grudge against the business owner rather than it necessarily being really bad service they have provided. 


The way that you respond to negative posts as a business speaks leaps and bounds about you and your attitude towards your business and ultimately your customers. Here are some tips on handling negative posts/reviews online. 



Don't delete negative posts


It can be heartbreaking when you work really hard in your business only to see that someone has given you a bad review and undone all the positive work you have been striving to do. It's very tempting to delete that post and forget it ever existed -but in doing that you are risking two things - 


1. Annoying the person that has left the review to the point that they don't feel heard and it could seriously escalate into something far worse and even viral. 


2. If people following your page, website whatever it is  where the review has appeared think that they cannot be open and honest then they won't engage as they will assume that comments on your site are vetted and not necessarily genuine. 


Of course if someone is using bad language and being abusive then this is the time to delete or hide the post. Then consider putting a post up explaining why the post has been deleted or hidden. 


There is an added issue of if the post appears on a website that is not yours i.e a review site. In this instance many of the sites enable you to reply and/or you can contact the site owner and ask for a post to be removed if it is really abusive.


Some businesses have posting policies on their blogs and other social media. This can be a way to put across what you will and won't accept so people are aware before they post. 



Take it offline  


When someone has had a bad experience and has vented about it - all they often want is just to be acknowledged and heard.


The best way to handle a negative post/review is to: 


1. Acknowledge the issue and remember that it is not you that is being attacked - don't take it personally as this can invoke quick knee jerk responses back which could escalate the issue. 


2. Control the situation, be aware of it and respond to their complaint/comment in a professional manner


3. Take it offline  - so once you have acknowledged the complaint invite the customer to get in touch with you offline i.e. take a contact number or give them a contact number, email or ask them to come into your store to chat further about their experience. Listen to what they have to say but take it offline. 



Learn from the experience 


Learn from the comments that have been left. As a business and being busy it is possible to miss things. If someone says that the customer service they got was terrible - find out what happened and learn from it. Don't ignore the issue because if it keeps happening and people keep reading posts about the same negative thing then you might have a bigger issue on your hands.


Look at how you can improve on something that has been commented on, i.e. training, addressing the issue. 


If things get out of hand 


If you find that things really escalate and no matter what you do to try and appease the 'venter' it won't go away then consider contacting an external company to help you with the issue. 


Having issues in this area and need help? Contact us today. 




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