The Right Way To Handle Negative Comments on Social Media

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook, Founder, Intuit

Social media has given us the power to reach people all over the world and impact change with the click of a button. For businesses, it’s important to have a positive presence online which makes the handling of negative comments even more important.

Every company has their share of negative reviews, but if the proper care and attention is provided to the customer, you’ll often find that the negative feelings were the result of a miscommunication or misunderstanding.

Recently, a customer left a negative review on our Facebook page. Our social media manager alerted our support team immediately and our support team reached out. Our CEO also messaged them privately to dive deeper into the issue and assured them we’d take care of them. After delivering on our promise, the customer changed their review into a positive one. This is just one example of how to handle a poor review and end up with a great one!

Here’s how you shouldn’t handle a negative comment on social media:

DON’T get angry or argue with your customer

Businesses should always respond positively to reviews and comments and take the high road. It’s up to the business to remain professional when emotions are running high and to defuse the situation, not fuel it. Always

DON’T ignore them

Potential customers look to social media and review sites for recommendations and social proof. If you’ve ignored a negative comment, it makes it seem like you either don’t care or you’re too busy to provide good customer service. Always respond to comments, no matter how mean and nasty.

DON’T delete them

In the age of the screenshot, nothing is truly deleted. Even if you catch the negative comment quickly, chances are somebody saw it and you don’t want to risk seeming shady to potential or current customers. It’s better to leave it up, and show your audience that you can handle negativity professionally and productively.

DON’T answer with a shallow apology

While it’s important to respond to all messages, comments and reviews, leaving a shallow answer can leave a bad taste in the mouth of your potential customers. Responses like “We’re sorry you feel that way!” can make it seem like you’re belittling your customer rather can providing assistance. Approach each comment with the utmost empathy and remain sensitive to the way the customer might be feeling, even if they are wrong or misinformed.

Instead, follow these best practices:

  1. Respond publicly and let them know that you’ll also be reaching out privately.
  2. Send them a private message and try to dive deeper into the issue.
  3. Work to resolve the issue. Go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service.
  4. Ask the commenter to revise or delete their review.
  5. If the commenter continues to leave negativity on your account, consider blocking them.

If someone is spamming your account or using profanity, make sure you block them immediately and report them to prevent it from happening again.

How have you handled negative comments on social media and review sites? Share your story in the comments!

Last modified: April 28, 2017

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