What to do with Negative Press In Social Media

Even if it is the kind of feedback that you do not want to hear, feedback is still an important part of customer service and social media has made feedback easier than ever to obtain.

We have talked before about social media being a conversation between you and your end user.  Businesses have asked customers to vote on their new slogan, suggest a new flavor of ice cream, pick the owners new hair style for the week, give feedback on their new product lines, and more.  Social media can be a great tool, because you can ask questions and get answers from your customer-base.  So, it makes sense too that if a customer comes up with a problem and brings it to your attention, your conversation with them is even more important.

The Mad Customer

Most of the time, complaints are from actual customers that would like some sort of resolution to the issue they are having.  Some customer’s get really hot-under-the-collar when something goes wrong and will let you know in a strongly worded social media response.  Publicly or if you feel the need privately, let this customer know that you are truly sorry that they didn’t have a good experience, that you care about them, you’re concerned about the issue that they are having, and want to make it right.  Detail the specific steps that are going to be taken to resolve the issue with the customer, whether it is a refund, a policy change, or additional staff training.

Giving Feedback

Mad or not mad, sometimes customers just have a general complaint that they want to bring to your attention (and everyone else’s attention) through social media.  The customer details exactly what went wrong in their experience with your company.  While this person may not need to be calmed down as much as the “mad customer”, responding personally or through social media is a good idea.  On a case-by-case basis, decide too if the steps taken to address the problem need to be detailed.  Also acknowledge that their feedback has been received and your company appreciates hearing it.

The Troublemaker

Sometimes negative criticism comes from someone that isn’t even one of your customers and is just out to cause trouble.  Maybe it is someone who supports the competition and wants to drag your business name or product through the mud by posting less than favorable information on social media.  In this situation, react positively to the person and thank them for their input in an equally public way.  Take the high road and don’t stoop to their level.  Then if you have information that you can post to correct the mis-information supplied by the person, post it along with your response back.  At other times this content might just be spam and doesn’t warrant a response.  Evaluate each situation individually to decide.

Negative press is no fun.
Photo by Michal Marcol

The Loyal Customer Input

Maybe your business has done a great job of making customers feel like they have a relationship with your product or company and a customer steps up with some constructive criticism.  This is the kind of feedback that often comes with some sort of suggestion.  Make sure that you let this customer know that their interest in your business is very much appreciated.  Also, it might be helpful to reward this customer with a coupon, free item, or other token of appreciation.  After all, what better way to build an even stronger brand and business support than to make this already involved customer feel even more valuable.

Remember to keep your comments positive at all times and that most times a response to the feedback is a good idea.   As always contact us if you need assistance.

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Eric Wagner

Eric is a CEO with a background in marketing and search engine optimization specialist (SEO). In his free time, Eric enjoys exercise, gardening, technology, a good book, and spending time with family and friends.

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