One of the unavoidable parts of a social media presence is the openness to comments, both good and bad. Occasionally, or more often than you wish, your business might encounter some sort of negative comment on its social media pages. Handling these kinds of comments efficiently and with grace is the best and only way to manage it. Negativity is no fun, and sometimes we all have to deal with a social media “troll”.

We recently had a situation on a client’s Facebook page, which spurred this article. Luckily most of the negativity was via Messenger and not public, but had it not been handled quickly (late on a Saturday night), or effectively (see below) it could have escalated and been a bigger issue.

  1. Acknowledge it. Part of this requires you to be active and tuned into your social media profiles. If you can stay on top of your profiles and the comments that are posted on your content or on your pages, you’ll be able to tackle a negative comment more quickly. Reminder: an immediate solution is not necessary, just an immediate response. Get into contact with this customer directly, as quickly as possible. If there is an issue with a product or service and many people are commenting or impacted, then craft a message or post to 2. let your entire customer base know that you are handling the situation.
  2. Keep it private. If possible. If you were dealing with an irate customer in a store, you’d pull them aside to have a conversation. You wouldn’t (at least, we hope not) go at it in public. Use this same rule of thumb in social media. Encourage the commenter to send you a private message, give you a phone call, or shoot you an email to better deal with the situation specifically. If that’s not a possibility, address it in the public forum calmly and politely.
  3. Say you’re sorry. If it applies. For the average human, this is no easy feat, and it can be even harder as a business. Still, apologizing when necessary will go a long way in mitigating the frustration of your customer. Not only will they feel listened to, but they’ll probably be incredibly appreciative of your willingness to own up to your mistakes. If your customer’s complaint comes from a direct failure of a product or a service that you provided them with, say you’re sorry and let them know you understand that their expectations weren’t met. And, then offer ways that you can make it right. Making it right doesn’t always have to involve huge freebies, and like Mom said, apologizing (and meaning it) go a long way.

See Complaints as a Lesson, Not an Attack

Negative comments and reviews can feel like an attack, but by getting to the root of the problem as quickly as you can, you, your business, and your customer will be able to move on. At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to make sure your customers know they’re heard.

Hearing complaints, negative comments and interacting with your customers can give you valuable feedback to correct issues. This could be production concerns, employee training, and other internal processes that will improve all customer experiences in the long run. For our client, we made some updates to their employee social media policy and used it as a training opportunity.  Yes, we know that you won’t always be able to make everyone happy, but a lot of times, acknowledgment is all a negative commenter wants.

Have An Experience to Share or Need Help?

How have you dealt with negative comments in the past? OR if you’re struggling with one, or working to create a process for your business, maybe we can help. Give us a call at 616-490-1068 or email today.