To Respond or Not Respond: That is the Question

Shannon Streater@ShannonStreater How to Handle Negative Comments on Social Media

One of the most common questions I am asked by our new clients or prospective clients is how to handle negative comments made on social media about their company. The most common and natural human reaction is to defend, state the “truth,” and make sure the correct version of circumstances is told so that no one thinks ill of their company. While that initial reaction is certainly understandable, we at Social Media Delivered believe that it is always best to follow the following steps:

1) Listen—they may have a point

2) Don't take what they say as law—they may just be having a bad day

3) Learn how to potentially improve the business or a process from what they say

4) Never delete the comment unless there is profanity, hate language, or nudity. This makes you look like you are trying to hide something.

5) Respond ASAP and be sure to acknowledge what it is that they are unhappy about. Many times people need to feel heard in addition to having their problem corrected.

6) Learn to say you are sorry without sounding defensive.

7) Apologize publicly—there is nothing wrong with saying you are sorry. In fact, it shows humility, which is a good thing in this day and age.

8) Once you have apologized, ask the customer to contact you privately. You want to be able to handle the details of their issue one on one and refund privately. This is between you and the customer only.

9) Follow up and make sure they are happy afterwards. A simple email or phone call a few days later can really make a difference between an unhappy customer and a customer for life.

10) Be sure to fix the problem that started it all. At the end of the day, make sure that your team addresses the issue that created the complaint, and that it isn’t lost in the shuffle.

The reality is that every company makes a mistake and has an unhappy customer from time to time. The key is how you respond to those challenges!

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