How to Handle Negative Comments on Social Media

How to Handle Negative Comments on Social Media

We can’t deny the fact that social media is a unique public platform and a powerful tool for businesses of all types. Presence on social media lets potential customers connect, engage and establish trust with your brand. It can also be a great customer service tool for your business to appropriately handle customers’ complaints and comments.

If a negative or controversial comment comes up on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, here are some tips to handle them properly.

1. Reply publicly and privately

Social media is public so every negative comment about your product or service can be seen by all of your social media audience that will bring a bad impression about your brand. Social media is all about a quick response so make sure that there is one person responsible for handling comments on your social media sites.

To address negative issues, you can quickly reply publicly to offer an apology and a solution for their bad experience, but that doesn’t mean you have to discuss every detail. You can tell them that you’ve sent them a private message or an email to resolve the situation. Once resolved, you can reply another message on their comment that you are happy to assist them and that their feedback is helpful to the improvement of your products or services. Remember to always make them feel important.

2. Respond quickly

Word travels fast on social media, so respond and address negative comments quickly. Response time can greatly affect your social media engagement. Quick response indicates a good customer service and can set you apart from other businesses. According to Jay Baer, a social media and content strategist, slow responses or no response produces a decided ‘meh’ vibe.

Another research report says that 32 percent of customers expect a response within 30 minutes and 42 percent expects a 60 minutes’ response. So, don’t delay! Respond as soon as you have received the negative comment.

The faster you escalate negative comment; the better impression you’ll have in the eyes of your social media audience.

3. Respond calmly and politely

Remember the old adage: Customers are always right. When you respond, use a respectful tone and polite words to keep the mood calm and friendly. Always offer a sincere apology like “We are sorry to hear that.” or “We are sorry for the inconvenience.” and don’t try to win the argument even if you don’t agree with the customer’s point of view.

If you have someone managing your social media accounts, he/she should be trained how to be polite to keep a good image about your company.

4. Be personal

Technology advancement makes customers want to feel like they have a connection with the brand. Social media, therefore, is the most effective tool for businesses to connect with customers. They want to feel that they are being taken care of by companies they trust. When they had a bad experience with your company, be friendly and personal. Communicate with them as human not as robots. Listen and make them feel that their opinions are being respected and are important for your company.

Listening to customer’s negative comment is also helpful to find insights and ideas on how to improve your products and services in the long run.

5. Don’t delete the comment

Never, ever delete a negative comment. Deleting a comment indicates that you don’t care about the customer’s experience about your product or service. It will only frustrate them more which will cause them to tell others how awful your company is. Handling negative comments on social media should be treated the same as dealing with them face-to-face.

You can only delete a comment if you think it’s a spam, inappropriate or offensive. Social media sites like Facebook allows users to report the comment if it does not follow their community guidelines. You can also hide the comment so other audience cannot see it and can only be seen by the person who wrote it. They’ll have no idea that the comment is hidden, and that can be useful.

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