You’ve been using social media. You’ve made it easy for customers to review your product and/or services. Now, the worst has happened. You’re seeing a review or a post that really slams your business. What do you do next? Here are 5 steps to take.
5 Things to Do if You Get a Negative Online Post or Review
You work hard to make every customer a satisfied customer. But, you got one of those customers you just couldn’t make happy – or, one of your employees really botched a transaction. Now, there’s a negative report on your online reviews and on social media that makes you look bad – really bad. Here are 5 things you can do to respond, create a happy customer and protect your good reputation.
- Be prompt but not hasty. People want a fast response – especially when they are using online sites. After all, the Internet is instant, isn’t it? However, if this is a transaction that makes your blood boil or makes you a little hot under the collar, take enough time to calm down and make a reasoned response. If you sound sarcastic or defensive in your answer, it will only make you look worse. Give yourself time to think it through.
- Play nice. And, be yourself. You are responding one-on-one to a complaint but hundreds and hundreds may end up reading what you have to say. Make your response genuine – and nice. Remember what you have to say can be shared over and over again. Convey you want to make the situation right for the customer. If there are restraints or restrictions you have to follow, make them – and the reason they exist – clear.
- Be direct. Respond to the customer and the issue at hand. Don’t answer is a way that can be interpreted as a “canned” response. No one wants their problem addressed by a form letter or a one-size-fits-all reply. Repeat something that was mentioned in the customer’s post so they know you are willing to pay attention to them – or any individual customer.
- Use the criticism. Something made your customer write a negative post. Is it something that might make other customer unhappy, too? Learn from what the customer has posted. Is it something you can fix to make your store/business a better place? Give it some thought and you might even want to thank the customer for bringing the issue forward in your reply.
- Offer to take it up in private. You wouldn’t argue with a customer in the store and, frankly, more people may be watching you online. Don’t start a dialogue that could turn ugly. If you can’t offer a solution in your response, post a reply that apologizes and offers a phone number and ask the customer to contact you directly. This is also a useful way to handle giving the customer something. If you offer a free item to satisfy the customer in public, you may get a flurry of negative responses from people who are hoping to benefit with a free item of their own.
Pay attention to what’s happening to your business on line. Work with your SEM company to make sure that anything negative is brought to your attention and handled in a way that will enhance your reputation – not harm it. It is likely that your Internet marketing firm will be able to give you some good ideas on how to handle negative online posts.