People rely upon people’s experiences and opinions before they buy anything new. Social Media has made it easier for everyone to leave their feedbacks and experiences open and public.
A study conducted by a customer service software platform Zendesk revealed that online customer service reviews had influenced about 88 percent of customers when they decide what to purchase.
We can’t take it lightly.
Unfortunately, negative service feedback online travels faster than a positive one. We can’t stop an upset user to write negative feedback but we can certainly handle such a situation in an effective and professional way.
That said, here are ways to handle negative service feedback on social media online.
Always Listen & Access First
Ensure you pay adequate attention because the purpose of listening is to help you access the situation. This will assist you in knowing how to approach the problem and how best to solve it.
To make sure that you don’t miss any feedback (negative or positive), get service such as mention.com and put your brand name and service keyword on alerts. Having your service keywords on alerts will keep you aware of the feedbacks left for your competitors.
2. Respond On Time
The response time matters. The longer you take, the more aggravated user feels. Since it is public, the negative sentiments amplifies along with users who’re reading it.
In fact, 37% of customers expect a response within 30 minutes.
However, it doesn’t mean that you should rush the response. Take step #1 seriously, access the situation, gather all facts and respond as soon as you can.
It shows that you value and respect them. A quick response will also help to convey a sense of seriousness on your part to your customers.
3. Negative Feedbacks Are Not Personal Affronts
Negative service feedbacks doesn’t mean you’re personally attacked. The user is talking about his experience with your service or product, not you. They’re talking about a brand. So, start with feeling what they’re feeling. Step into their shoes and handle it with a calm and neutral mind.
4. When Responding, Restate The Problem
Restating makes customers calm and in agreement that the brand is empathetic and understands. Restating complaints when responding will also act as a pointer to those who have a similar complaint. Thus saving you the stress of giving the same response another time.
5. Take The Conversation Offline
Negative service feedbacks that were delivered publicly will have to be addressed publicly. However, there are times when it is more appropriate to continue the conversation offline. Before other users begin to contribute to the dialogue between you both, it is important to take the communication offline or in private to resolve it at the earliest.
Offline conversations with customers also show that you’re willing to resolve the issue and not just apologize. Emails and phone calls are the best way to converse privately.
Try this when you face negative service feedback on social media
- Acknowledge that you have read it and apologize for the experience. It calms them down. Access the situation meanwhile.
- If it was a simple case, offer the solution right away publicly.
- If it is a complicated situation, briefly explain in public and send an email to the customer at the same. Make sure you remain calm and polite offline and online.
- After 2-3 email conversations, offer the user to speak on call and do your best to resolve.
Remember, the longer the conversations goes, the more difficult it gets.
6. Make No Room For Excuses
Never do this mistake. Offering excuses gives customers the impression that your brand doesn’t consider their welfare important. This will only complicate things. Instead, be the brand that is always looking to solve any issue a customer may have, going out of their way.
7. Take Steps To Resolve The Complaint Even if it Costs You
Do everything within your power to resolve the complaint to leave the complainant happy. Even if it means incurring an extra cost. This will demonstrate to him that you value them. Surprisingly, you will earn a life-long brand ambassador and referral partner.
You may be into the business of selling gadgets, for instance. A customer may buy one and discover it has a fault. If they give negative feedback, the best way to resolve the problem is to offer to replace it with another one. Although that will come at an extra cost to you, you’ve won over the trust of that customer.
8. Ensure You Follow Up
You’ll be able to gauge if the response you gave worked well when you follow up on a complaint. If the user is satisfied, request them to leave a positive experience and acknowledge the solution on the same thread where they left a negative feedback.
9. Don’t Be Worried About Trolls
There are situations when the feedbacks may come from trolls or fake customers. These trolls may be malicious or phony. What you should do is to ignore them.
10. Choose When To Respond
Not every negative service feedbacks needs your response. Some of them are just out to malign your company on purpose. Others do it for fun. What you should do is to seek out those feedbacks that have genuine concerns and address them.
To Wrap It Up
These tips to handle and respond to negative feedback on social media will not only position your company as an attentive one but also help you deliver services better. Negative feedbacks are often avenues in which you can improve the image of your business. It gets people’s attention and now the ball is in your court to turn the situation upside down. They’re not there to discredit your business. Always respond to them.
Have you had any such difficult experience? How did you handle it? Share in comments.
If you’re facing a difficult situation now, write and I will try to help you.
Sunita Biddu is a digital business coach and power blogging mentor helping coaches and small business owners. She helps with building a strong and profitable online presence and reputation that creates a self-sustaining business. Sunita writes on this blog once a week about easy-to-use guides and articles about business, coaching, social media and blogging. You can grab some of her free resources and ebooks from the resources section.