How to Gracefully Handle Negative Reviews on Social Media

An online presence is essential for a business to thrive these days. The Internet can offer many resources and drive a lot of business to a company. It allows greater visibility and access for potential customers to find products and services they need. This can be a great boon if properly utilized.

With an internet presence comes customer feedback and reviews that are often publicly visible. How you handle negative customer interactions will be widely accessible, meaning that a good image is the key to success. Let’s examine how you can handle negative reviews via social media – without losing your temper or dignity.

Maintain a Positive Demeanor

Remember to always stay positive when dealing with potentially negative customer complaints. Your attitude is a reflection of your establishment. Even if the customer is a lost cause, you must never resort to negativity. Future customers may be reading your exchange with a particularly nasty client and may draw conclusions based on how you act. Keep that in mind for every response made.

Compassion and understanding go a long way when dealing with unhappy patrons. Show them that you want to help them fix their issue. A cheerful mindset will convey your concern. Much like you’d expect to see enthusiasm and positivity in sales promotion examples and demos, you must also exude these qualities during any negative customer interaction.

Own the Blame

Excuses can ruin a good apology. We’ve all heard some version of, “I’m really very sorry, but…”. You may have a completely valid excuse but refrain from making excuses at all costs as they send the wrong message. A sincere apology without the excuses, followed up by a real gesture or action, will show that you are there for the customer.

Mistakes do happen from time to time, and most people are reasonable enough to understand that. Being sincere and honest about your mistakes and taking responsibility for those mistakes does not make you look weak: it makes you look like a respectable business.

Timely Response Matters

Replying to negative feedback as quickly as possible is crucial. A rapid response can seriously turn the tides in your favor when paired with sincerity and a will to make it right. Making time for the customer will convey that you find them important above all else, which is becoming rarer in this day of mega-corporations and monopolies.

An unhappy customer is usually not very patient for a response and may take silence as an offense. Unhappy customers that are not dealt with may take it upon themselves to retaliate in whatever way they can: disarm them with a prompt and polite response.

Offering Apologies and Resolutions

A good apology usually ends with an offer to resolve any issue the reviewer has had with your product or service. Actions speak louder than works and an apology alone is not good enough to make things right.

Try to understand where your client is coming from and do what you can to remedy the problem. Always follow through with any promises made or any progress you have made with the customer will be lost, and it may very well make them even less happy than they were to start with. When done properly, you may even be able to convince the customer to rescind the previous negative review.

Following a few simple rules of human compassion can go a long way when responding to negative critiques. Always staying positive, responding quickly, and offering to make things right can go a long way from turning a negative encounter into a potentially positive one.

Community manager at Visual Contenting. Jacqueline loves to talk about social media trends, new technology and how they help businesses accelerate their marketing efforts.

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