How to deal with negative reviews
When negative reviews or comments pop up on your social media, it’s natural to have that moment of panic. What if other people see this review and decide not to do business with you? It’s easy to get defensive. Maybe it’s an unfounded comment and the person is just plain old wrong, but perhaps it is a legitimate mistake or failing that has not previously been brought to your attention. It’s natural to want to respond right away, ignore it entirely or even delete the comment so that no one else sees it, but that’s not the best idea. If a negative review is received, take a moment and remember that this is an opportunity.
52% of customers expect to hear back from you within seven days after lodging a complaint, however, on social media, you have more like an hour. How you respond to these negative reviews says more about your brand than anything else. It’s incredibly important to step up to the plate and tackle it head-on, to demonstrate your professionalism and level of care. Luckily, there’s a method for dealing with these comments.
- They’re angry, they have a bone to pick, acknowledge their feelings and their complaint. Let them know that you hear them.
- Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, apologise. Sometimes that’s all people want. But don’t offer a hollow one. You want to appear sincere and not as if you don’t care.
- Thank them. Thank the person for bringing this to your attention, now you have the opportunity to fix the issue and, potentially, maintain a positive relationship.
- Take it off the page. If it is appropriate to do so, ask them to message the page directly. Try and speak with them over the phone or via messenger to personalise the response and remove the potential harm from the public eye.
- Offer a solution. Own the problem. Suggest that there is a way to rectify it and offer that olive branch of peace.
This simple formula can completely change how your brand is perceived and gives you the opportunity to make a second impression. It’s not just about the individual customer’s experience though, it’s also about other people seeing your response. This may sound callous, but the fact of the matter is that 88% of customers will stalk social accounts and read reviews before deciding to engage. Your response to negativity will have a huge impact on whether or not a person decides to patronise your business. A positive outcome also suggests that you are 65% more likely to retain the complainant’s business. That’s a win.
No business is perfect, but your response to negative reviews can be close to it. Take our advice.
- Ashayla Webster, Social Community Manager