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As someone with an active online presence, I’ve gotten my fair share of negative online comments. One time I even got called “Miss Piggy.” I’m not sure that’s much of an insult, though. She’s got a famous boyfriend and killer style. And as far as the extra weight? We all know if he squeezes, it pleases.
If you have social media profiles for your business, chances are you’ve received a negative comment or two as well. You probably didn’t get called “Miss Piggy,” but maybe you weren’t on time for your appointment (or you didn’t show up at all), you provided poor customer service, or one of your CSRs was unfriendly on the phone.
No matter what the comment says, it’s important that you treat your business’ online complaints the same way you would treat a customer who came into your office and complained. For example, you definitely wouldn’t ignore an unsatisfied customer who came to your office!
Unfortunately, many business owners do choose to ignore or delete negative online reviews and comments. Social media serves a variety of functions, and one of those functions is an online customer service rep. Ignoring or deleting negative online reviews is a missed opportunity to publicly showcase your quality customer service and can soil your online reputation. Your only choice is to respond.
How to Respond to Negative Social Media Comments
In one of the worst examples of online PR I’ve ever seen, the owners of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Ariz. (featured on Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares) posted a slew of unsavory Facebook comments in response to an onslaught of negative online feedback for the bakery following the show’s airdate.
I’d post the others, but I had to re-baptize myself after I read them, so I’ll spare you that hassle. While this is an extreme example, it’s important that you don’t try to put a negative commenter in his/her place. You will never win an argument with a customer because the customer is always right.
So rather than fight with your customer in an extremely public arena, you should offer them an apology AND a solution:
“I’m sorry you experienced poor customer service and thank you for making us aware of this problem. We are constantly working to improve our customer service and will be in touch with you to remedy this situation.”
Once you’ve responded to the negative comment publicly, reach out to the customer privately to address his or her issues.
Get More Positive Social Media Comments
Unfortunately, people with negative opinions are far more likely to comment and review your company. Our clients ask us how they can get more online reviews all the time, and our response is always the same: ask for them!
Once you’ve responded to a negative review, it’s nice to balance it out with positive reviews. Encourage your happy customers to write positive reviews on your social networks. Call them, email them, or leave a postcard with them after their appointment asking them if they were happy with their service and if they could take the time to review your service on Facebook (or your social network of choice.) If you offer incentives for doing so (contests, prizes, discounts, etc.), you’re likely to see a higher response rate.
If you need help with your social media marketing, give us a call. If you’d like to be the Kermit to my Miss Piggy, contact me directly. Just kidding. Maybe.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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