Handling negative comments on social media is something you must be ready for as a business or startup. It is inevitable because you can never be able to please everyone. Social media makes it easy for people or customers to share negative comments. It simply takes them making a post, commenting or tagging you. The subject of negative social media comments is pertinent especially these days. People are generally dealing with a lot of challenges which makes them highly irritable. They easily get annoyed and any slight shortcoming or mistake on your part can trigger them. So how best can you handle negative comments on social media?
Address Them Immediately
No wonder why I always underscore the importance of being active on social media. If you are not active you will not immediately notice negative comments. One of the reasons why most people tend to not be active is because they are juggling too many balls. It would be best to have someone dedicated to social media management. That way they keep a keen eye on what happens on your social media platforms in real-time. Respond or address them immediately to avoid giving out an impression that you ignore negative comments. Leaving them unattended can cause a serious backlash. In the same vein, deleting them is also not necessarily a good idea.
Acknowledge, Apologize, Commit And Follow Through
When you see a negative comment, first of all, acknowledge you have seen the comment. This means you respond by pointing out you have seen it. Couple that with a sincere apology for whatever the issue might be. Then that must be followed by again a written commitment of what you are going to do about it. An example of such a response would be, ‘Hi Clive, we have taken note of your concern and sincerely apologize for any inconveniences caused. Be kindly advised that one of our technicians is already working on the issue and will contact you soon. That will speak a positive message to both the complainant in question and onlookers. Ensure to follow through with what you would have committed to do. If you do not, the complainant can simply come back to your comment and say more negative things.
Respond Publicly Initially – Take The Rest To The Inbox
From the previous point, you can tell that your initial response should be public. However, you must be wary of knowing the limits of publicly interacting with a negative comment. It is most advisable to take the rest of the interaction with the person in question to their inbox. These days people tend to ride on negativity so taking the public interaction too far can attract unnecessary attention. You can end up having other people getting involved and spiralling the whole situation out of control. Once you are in their inbox do your best to responsibly address their issue. Do not forget that the person in question can share your conversation so conduct it well.
Customers Are Not Always Right – Do Not Argue Though
This is one of the dynamics that complicate customer care most of the time. The thing is, yes a customer might have a genuine complaint but their approach in airing it might be wrong. After all, the staff are humans just as much as the customers are – they can be offended and all. Plus at times the negative comments can be misinformed or even baseless. These things do happen because some customers sensationalize their negative comments to gain traction. Customers tend to abuse the ‘customer is always right’ mantra at times. In light of all this, do not make the mistake of arguing with them, especially in public. This usually turns out badly for your business or startup. Just bite your lower lip and respond courteously to avoid things getting out of hand.
These are some of the robust things you can do to handle negative comments on social media. Remember that people tend to pay close attention to how you address negative comments. How you handle them is part of what people consider as reviews and ratings. As hard as it might be, try to ensure you are conscientious in your responses to negative comments.