Opening yourself to reviews and commentary online brings opportunities for recognition but also opens the gates for negative feedback about your business. While social media is usually used to highlight great parts of your brand, negative feedback presents an opportunity to fix issues, learn from your customers, and project a professional image.
Our recommendation is to respond to every brand mention whether positive or negative. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Be positive even when someone else is not. Sometimes people have an axe to grind or are being just plain rude but it doesn’t help you or your brand to go down that path. Responding to negativity with gratitude will almost always pay off in the long run.
- Acknowledge & apologize when responding. Thank the customer for the feedback and when necessary apologize. Most of the time someone just wants to know that they have been heard.
- Respond publicly but be open to engaging in private dialogue through direct message or email if a deeper discussion is needed to understand and correct the issue.
- Don’t delete negative comments. While this might seem like the easiest route it will come back to haunt you. The only exceptions are comments that are vulgar, overly personal, or offensive.
- Don’t post negative comments about your competitors or negative sentiments overall. Every online action can be traced right back to your brand so keep your messaging positive and accurate.
How you manage guest recovery is a representation of your standards and service. This is a careful art that can be crafted with time but starts with accepting the responsibility. Read here for great examples of customer service through social media.