3 tips for responding to negative social media posts
Friday, May 06, 2016
When customers are frustrated, they often don't reach out to your customer service line anymore. For better or worse, they instead share their negative experience on social media.
Negative comments, bad reviews and snarky tweets will always be there. They're never going away, and deleting them is certainly not the way to go.
This is your chance to turn a customer you're about to lose for life into a brand advocate. Yes, it can be done, and it's much more doable than you would think.
Begin by enacting these three tips when responding to negative social media posts and reviews. You'll quickly see just how much of an opportunity dealing with negative social media comments presents.
1. Never delete negative social posts
If someone came up to you at your store, would you ever listen to their angry rant and then walk away without saying a word? If the answer's no — and I'm hoping it is — then don't do the digital equivalent.
Never delete negative social posts or comments. Never. When you do, you feed the fire. You're silencing the voice of an upset customer who's waiting for you to swoop in and help him/her.
When you delete negative comments, you often infuriate the customer. Need proof? See the lengths this upset Subway customer went to.
However, you don't always have to respond to negative comments. On occasion, you'll see comments where the individual is clearly looking to vent, not for a solution.
2. Respond quickly, but not too quickly
42 percent of customers expect a response for your brand within an hour, while more than 66 percent want a response within the same day, according to Edison Research.
With negative reviews, the quicker you respond (with a solution), the higher your chances of saving the relationship.
However, if you're the owner or are personally attached to the brand, wait. If you respond quickly, you may say something you regret. Wait until you can fully detach yourself from the situation and respond in a cool, calm and collected manner. If that takes longer than an hour or even a day, so be it.
3. Act like a human
You've got a problem if your standard response sounds like this: "Thanks for sharing your experience. We're sorry to hear you had a problem. For the last 100 years, we've provided excellent customer service. Please fill out this form on our website so that we can help."
Canned responses that sound corporate or generic will not work when handling negative social feedback.
First, this response implies you don't even know what the problem is. You need to mention the problem when replying to show you're listening. Ideally, use the same language they did.
Also, this response asks the customer to complete another step before fixing the problem. They already took the first step. They reached out. Now, it's your turn to solve the problem. Pass along a blog post, an FAQ solutions page or any advice that will help them.
To sum it up, listen to their feedback, empathize with their problem and do everything in your power to make them happy and right the situation.
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