The title of this article might sound odd, especially for many business owners who fear negativity through social media. However, negative comments are not the end of the world. In fact, you can actually use a negative comment or complaint to exhibit your care for your customers and ability to use your customer service skills to turn the situation around in your favor.
Use our tips for responding to negative comments to your advantage and never fear social media comments again.
Monitor Social Mentions
The sooner you respond to a complaint or social media comment the easier it is to quell the situation. Use tools and applications that send you immediate alerts to social activity.
It is important that you find a media monitoring service that is specific to your market and your country. For example, iSentia specializes in media monitoring and social media tools in the Asia-Pacific region.
Understand the Dynamics of Social Comments and Complaints
A large element of social media complaints is the fact that they are public and other customers or social media followers can see the interaction and will judge your company on how you react and handle it.
In most cases, the general social media public does not particularly care about the details of the problem, but want to see that you care about resolving problems for your customers. Always remember that many others not involved in this transaction can be reading this.
Don’t Respond Angrily
It is easy to take offense and become angry or aggravated by a complaint. Especially if the customer is aggravated and posted accusations or nasty comments. Catch your breath before responding and just state the facts. Check with a co-worker, manager, or even a friend who can be objective and help you craft a neutral response. When you do respond, take ownership of your response, say “I” instead of “the company” or even “we”.
The first step to diffusing the problem is to apologize. You can apologize without admitting any fault by saying something like “I am very sorry for this problem.” Or “I apologize for the confusion with your order.” Of course, if your company is at fault, you should definitely own that and apologize in that fashion.
Set Goal for Resolution
The next sentence should tell them that you understand the problem and that your goal is to resolve the problem to their satisfaction. After these first two sentences, the customer will automatically feel at ease knowing that their complaint is recognized, valid, and that you are going to fix the problem.
Take the Problem Offline
Most problems can’t be resolved in social media comments anyhow, especially if you need to get order details or personal details about them or their transaction information. Offer a direct phone line or direct email address for them to contact you directly. Once you come to a resolution with the customer, return to the social media post and thank them for bringing the problem to your attention and express your happiness at being able to resolve it to them.
When you learn how to respond to a negative comment on social media, you can see how it is an opportunity to not only fix the problem for the one customer, but also show anyone else reading that you care and work towards resolving issues.
Many companies nowadays don’t care about customers and they don’t respond to social media comments. When you respond, it shows that your company is reputable and trustworthy. The actual problem is irrelevant; it is how you handle the complaint and express empathy that helps put your company in a positive light.