Social Media Marketing January 27th, 2014
Some Businesses don’t want to be on the social media because they don’t want negative feedback for their products or services. But, even if you’re not using the social media, you will get adverse comments on these networks. So it’s essential to be on these networks for only then you can act on these comments in a direct way. These interesting facts will open your eyes to the necessity of being on the social media.
The Retail Consumer Report found out that 68% of customers who posted negative comments/complaints on the social network received a reply from the concerned retailer. Of those commenters, 18% became loyal buyers and even did more purchasing, the study claims. Furthermore, 33% of these people did a U-turn and posted a review that was positive – and 34% deleted the negative comments that they had originally posted! Thus, it is amply clear that negative feedback can be made into a positive tool, if properly handled, and help to transform customers into loyal ones by enhancing their experience as well as the experience of others who would be following the online reviews you get. Especially for small businesses, acquiring loyal customers is of vital importance.
The question is how do we react to or tackle the negative comments that the surface on the social media? In this post, I’ll explain in a step-by-step way how to deal with them on various social networking sites. First, we’ll examine a few general ways to deal with the situation and then describe some specific methods for the top three social media networks.
According to another report, 25% customers anticipated that they would get a response in one hour while 6% felt they would get a reply in 10 minutes. Thus, it’s clear that a quick reply is expected by customers. Of course, the response will depend on the kind of business you are running and the industry you are in.
Be Original and Human
When it comes to handling negative comments on the social network don’t follow a written script. Be human and original. Certainly have some guidelines in place, but remember to use them only as guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules or scripts. The kind of response you give will always depend on what the customer has said on the social network.
Provide Extra Information
The important thing is not just how you respond, but how much you reply that matters. A customer cites the incident when he got a response where the brand told him that it regretted his experience. Other customers, who also had the same grievance, were given the same response. The brand did respond quickly, but their reply did nothing to help solve the customers’ problems. So provide full and even additional information in your reply that will fully satisfy the aggrieved customers.
Separate Contact E-mail
On Facebook it’s best to have a separate e-mail contact number to deal exclusively with negative comments. The customer may be unable to get to you for the customer e-mailing service has been unable to help them. When they ask for another e-mail account, they are provided the same! This can be really frustrating for customers, and harmful to your social media endeavor. You can also send them a message on Facebook asking them to provide you additional information.
Don’t give excuses or shy away from facts. Be transparent and honest with your customers and apologize to them if need be. Be truly sorry for anything you have been responsible for and give your customer any assurance that the mistake won’t be repeated by you.
Have a Visible Posting Policy
Certain brands have a posting policy in place on Facebook. It may be a tab visible in the about or apps section under Description/Mission. Ensure that your policy clearly states which elements are unacceptable, and these will result in a post being deleted, blocked or hidden. In addition to this, use the Manage Permissions tab to filter the comments/posts to solve the crisis. Facebook has this function (under the Manage Permission/edit page tab) where you can highlight keywords as spam and which can be subtracted or added any time.
When it comes to hiding, deleting, and blocking, be selective. Some conversations are necessary. You can’t just delete them because they are not to your liking. You can hide posts that infringe your policy. Then the customer who posted them can see the posts, and his friends can see the posts, but your fans can’t. Posts that rant or constantly attack an issue can be banned but be selective and civil.
It’s not personal
Remember, negative comments on social media are not personal attacks on you. They are really feedbacks from your customers’ viewpoint. Indeed, they can sometimes be helpful to your business. Of course, if the customer is wrong, you could politely defend yourself.
Allow Your Community to Respond
Allowing your community to reply on your behalf needs a lot of time, patience and energy besides a great product. If you engage with your fans for a long time by responding to them and giving them support, they will become more active on your social media page and even start helping one another.
If an offended customer is deliberately hostile and does not respond to your customer service endeavors and/or gets into unnecessary arguments, you can adopt the final option of banning them. In any case, if someone levels racial slurs or abuses at your staff members, they must be summarily banned.
Be Kind and Humorous
Sometimes you may commit a glaring mistake like a spelling mistake posted on Twitter and a whole lot of your followers are quick to point out the bloomer! So what do you do in such a situation? Don’t get annoyed – and don’t ever disregard your followers. Instead, use a dash of humor and kindness by tweeting something funny as well as truthful about your blunder. This will make your followers smile and see the human side of you that you too can admit an error you made.
Honesty Best Policy
In the same manner, be honest when something on your side goes wrong, like if your website malfunctions. You may get hundreds of tweets from angry and frustrated customers. Don’t send them standard replies – instead, give them an honest reply and a genuine apology for the problem. Don’t get upset with them; rather, be honest for it’s always the best policy in such matters.
Provide a Solution
A customer may be dissatisfied with a product he purchased from you. What you must do is contact the customer immediately and offers to take back or exchange the product. Don’t be scared of any adverse comment on Twitter. Instead, grab the chance to transform a negative experience into a positive one. Share empathy with your customers and be honest with them. Provide a solution to their problem in the best possible way.
It’s tough to tackle negative reviews on Google+. But it can be done, with some hard work and TLC.
Since Google has content policies and guidelines with regard to the stuff that can be posted you can ask for the deletion of reviews that don’t adhere to these guidelines. Google’s guidelines stipulate that reviews that are off-topic – based on the experience of somebody else or that are not based on the precise place that is being reviewed, cannot be posted.
In short, nobody can review something that they know or think that some other people have experienced, even if they are close friends or relatives. Other stuff that can’t be posted includes spam or advertising and things that are not honest and are in fact biased. In short, those that have no value. Finally speech that promotes violence or hate or which is based on ethnic/race origin, disability, gender, religion, veteran status, age, gender identity or sexual orientation cannot be posted.
In our age of high technology, micro messages can be made in split seconds and go viral equally fast. The damage that they can do to our reputation will last for a long time. Sometimes, for businesses, their negativity can do lasting harm to the firm’s reputation and those in the line of fire have to quickly undo the damage or at least minimize it. Some negative reviews and comments cannot be avoided, but when Google’s guidelines are flouted, your brand must not take the brunt.
Since negative or adverse comments can be made in seconds they become hard to delete or avoid and the only remedy is to rectify the matter or resolve the issue with the concerned person who has posted the adverse comment, in order to maintain your domination of search results. In this post I have explained at length how this can be done. Hope you have liked this article and I am looking forward to your comments in the section below.