The Do’s and Don’t’s of Dealing with Negative Comments Online

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According to Bright Local, online reviews are steadily becoming more powerful and influential in building a reputation for your business. In fact, since companies started expanding into Facebook and Instagram Business Profiles, more people are using online reviews as rough gauges of a company’s competency.

The power of online reviews is often underestimated. However, the reality of the situation is that negative online reviews do have significant potential in disrupting business and damaging your company’s reputation.

Here’s an example of how a negative online review caused a ruckus on social media:

In 2017, there was a major cake war between a home baker and one of her unhappy customers. In summary, a home baker tried to bribe her unhappy customer to remove her 1-star review that criticized the unprofessionalism and horrendous service. The incident blew up on social media because her customer refused to remove the damaging review and the home baker shut down her Facebook profile. Read about the whole saga here.

Maintaining professionalism online and having a superb customer service team is vital to protecting your web reputation. Thus, we’ve compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts’s to respond to negative comments online in the most professional way possible.

DO Respond ASAP

Immediate responses help unhappy customers rectify the problems quickly and also shows your company’s efficiency in troubleshooting and dealing with hiccups. Furthermore, addressing negative comments immediately also makes your business look more responsive and proactive.

DO Own Up To It and Apologize

Always apologize. After all, the customer is always right. Appeasing an unhappy customer is a quick way to show humility and open-mindedness. Moreover, apologies would show that your company is willing to change your products and services to suit the tastes and preferences of customers.

DO Provide Solutions and Follow Up

This is an easy way to show customers that you are willing to help and troubleshoot. Be sure to follow up and ensure that your solutions were effective in resolving the issue. In addition, providing solutions and following up will also serve as solutions and guides to others who are experiencing similar issues. Showing a little empathy can go a long way in business!

DO Take Criticism Constructively

Remember that a negative review is not the beginning of an Armageddon in your business. Always be open-minded to change and feedback because negative comments are indications of improvement that can enhance the quality of your business. Use criticism to pinpoint areas in your company management or system that need further work to continually propel your business forward.

DO Provide Contact Information for Larger Issues

Sometimes when the solutions you provided are not working, it would be better to liaise personally with the customer. This is also an effective way to show your company’s efforts to provide their customers with best experiences possible.

DON’T Use One-Size-Fits-All Model Answers

The easiest way to tick customers off is with an automated robot-like response which only sounds cold and insincere. Most of the time, model answers also fail to provide any substantial solutions. Thus, craft each response organically with sincerity and integrity.

DON’T get emotional

Negative comments and criticism against your company or products should never be taken personally. Just remember that your customers are unhappy about the services and products that can be adjusted and rectified. Be the bigger person by acting professionally and righting the wrongs customers have pointed out.

DON’T Start a War

Getting defensive and reacting violently against negative comments are only going to further tarnish your reputation. Admitting your company’s faults and being open to change are win-win tactics to ensure that you protect your company’s reputation and still provide efficient services to your customers.

But most importantly….

DON’T Ever Ignore Negative Comments

This is one of the biggest mistakes in online marketing.

By now you should have read about how negative comments online could break your business (if you haven’t, click here to read our blog post). They are also the easiest way to send your company reputation down the drain. Ignorance is just a sign that your company does not value customer opinions and is only selectively active online. Sometimes customers just want a response while they let out steam online. Therefore, the best way to appease them and retain a positive reputation is to address the comments as professionally as you can. Never ignore a complaint online.

If you want to learn about how you can manage your online reputation, click to learn from our experts.