The following tips can help you handle a negative comment appropriately, keeping your customers happy and coming back.
Address the comment efficiently: usually negative feedback falls into one of the following categories: a business error, a misunderstanding, a complaint or spam. Identify the category and come up with a positive solution that addresses the issue.
Don’t delay: word travels fast on social media platforms, so respond quickly, particularly during a bigger issue. You should respond in hours or less, not days later. A slow response can damage your company’s reputation and credibility.
Respond to each complaint in public: the culture of social media demands that you are addressing the issue so the public can see your reliability. You do not need to discuss every detail in the public space. Try posting, tweeting, or commenting back in response with something like “please email me more information” or “looking forward to helping you. Can you message me more?” Also when it is all resolved, communicate that back as well on the platform. Say something like “Thanks so much for letting us know. I hope the issue has been resolved for you.” Follow up is very crucial. Make sure you comment on the original stream where the complaint was written.
Usually the customer is not seeking to rat you out on social media. They just want to vent to other users or try to force you to address the issue. You can turn the complaint into a golden opportunity by jumping at the chance to publicly show that you are there to provide a service and to help them. You are approachable and available to resolve problems. You are demonstrating that you follow through and get back to your customer quickly.
Don’t be defensive: When you get a negative comment, don’t take it as a reflection on you or on your business. Handle the comment but do not react defensively because you do not want to escalate the issue. Be accommodating, polite and listen to what the complainant has to say.
Recognize your mistake: If your business made an error, don’t hide it. Don’t delete the comment or ignore it. It will only aggravate the commenter, or move the conversation elsewhere. Deleting things on the internet will bring into question your integrity to the complainant and all your followers. You do not want to challenge the person negatively. Remember, this is in public, and you are being judged by all your followers. You can block users who abuse the site, and remove inappropriate comments (ex: racist, derogatory, etc.). Mistakes happen, and you just need to deal with them. Recognize the complaint, apologize publicly and then take the conversation off the social media platform to resolve the problem.
Offer an incentive: When it comes to handling complaints, sometimes you have to go the extra mile to keep the customer happy and get a positive out of the situation. If the person isn’t satisfied after your explanation, you can offer a business service or a discount to convert the complainant to a satisfied customer.
Ask for an explanation: If someone posts a negative comment you still need to address the comment. Ask, “What do you feel I did wrong?” and go from there. Ask them what a good resolution would be. It’s basic customer service. If they are not satisfied, apologize and compensate them.
Set the tone: the general nature and tone of your posts will set the rules of engagement on your site or page. A pleasant and positive tone creates an atmosphere where aggressive negativity or attacks will seem out of place. If your comment stream is nice and open, it is likely that your followers would come to your defence. On the other hand, avoid sounding like an authority and never try to outsmart anyone since the internet is always smarter.