We’ve all thought about it. Putting your business out there on social media can be a great thing but it just leaves you so…vulnerable. You may be ready to dip your toes in the social media waters, but are apprehensive about what effect negative comments on your social media page might have to you and your business.
What if somebody says something bad about me?
Social media provides an opportunity to have a real conversation with your customers, whether positive or negative. It creates an environment in which opinions are voiced and feelings about a business or brand can be developed through the viral spread of word-of-mouth marketing. Dealing with negative comments on social media isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Feedback from your customers is invaluable – both the good and the bad. Negative comments on your Facebook page or a bad review on Yelp can actually arm you with the knowledge to change customer perceptions.
Uncover Real Issues
Let’s face it, the web gives people a little more bravado when expressing their feelings. It’s no shock that people complain more online than off. People are generally less inhibited and will feel much more comfortable saying what they really think. But is that necessarily a bad thing? Reading (not deleting) this constructive criticism can actually help you. Consider these examples of repetitive issues your customers may be experiencing.
‘They said they’d be at my house between 8 and 10, but by 2, I still hadn’t heard from them.’
‘The service is really slow – I could have fixed it myself quicker’.
‘The hostess is really rude.’
‘Food is great, prices were good but boy, how about the attitude from that hostess.’
As a business owner, this type of feedback can enable you to make positive changes in the service you provide. You may consider conducting quality checks with your services team, or having a private discussion with your hostess about her demeanor with customers. These issues could have gone unnoticed, but now not only are you aware that they exist, you can work to resolve them.
Provide Accurate Information
You may see comments that are misrepresentations of your products or services. Posts such as ‘They don’t even offer a guarantee!’ that are factually untrue (be sure to check first!) can quickly be addressed. A suggested response would be to reply to the post as the voice of the business, correcting this information and providing a link to the page on your website that outlines your guarantee policies.
At times, it may be necessary to respond to the negative comments. Depending on the severity of the complaint this may warrant a private message directly to the original poster. Responding publicly, so the rest of your social media community can see, has its benefits as well. When fans see a complaint posted and a timely, thoughtful response from the businessthe perception of that brand can change for the better. The community sees you as willing to help and ‘make things right’.
Dealing with customer feedback on your social media pages should be handled in the same manner as if that customer called you on the phone or came to see you in person. Listening to their concerns and being professional and courteous can go a long way in turning that negative feedback into a positive experience.