I’ve heard people worry about using social media because they aren’t sure how to handle negative comments or bad reviews. They’ve heard some nightmare situation where an unfounded complaint was posted on a review site or someone’s Facebook Wall and the business spent days in an ongoing dialogue refuting the complaint.
Consider social media networks as an extension of your customer service. Here are some tips in dealing with negative reviews and comments posted online:
- Be sure to thank the person posting the negative comment or review for sharing their concerns. Companies can appear indifferent or hostile when faced with a negative comment.
- Always reply to negative posts. It shows you are interested in their experience with your company. Let everyone see you have great customer service by posting a timely response.
- Don’t get into an online argument for any reason. Always be professional and civil no matter how inflammatory the individual’s comment or review may be.
- Be quick to provide an apology when dealing with a negative review. You are sorry they had a bad experience.
- Fix the problem and explain the steps you’ve taken to make the fix. Address the issue in a timely manner before you give the person reason to post further complaints due to your failure to respond to the complaint.
- Don’t obsess on a bitterly negative review. You don’t want to sound defensive or make a bad situation worse. Do your best to fix the problem and then move forward. Focus on keeping your regular customers happy and encourage them to post positive reviews. This will balance out any negative posts that prospective customers see. If they read on bad review out of 50 good reviews they’ll know it was an unusual occurrence.
If the issue is too involved send the person a direct message on Facebook or Twitter. You can even ask for the customer’s phone number so you can contact directly. In the past, when I’ve had issues with my web hosting services tech support scheduled a phone appointment to deal with my customer service and technical concerns.
The point is to be proactive and have a person designated to handle customer service issues that come up through your social media profiles.