Social media is changing the manufacturing industry in many positive ways. But it can also be a place of doom. Things can go wrong and people who feel mistreated tend to go on social media to vent their anger. No one is safe when it comes to negative social media comments.
Social media gives unsatisfied customers a platform to voice their opinions (or grudges). It’s a world of criticism out there. To protect your brand, you must learn how to properly deal with the negative comments directed at your company.
Here are 6 ways to deal with negative social media comments.
1. Monitor your brand.
You won’t know how to deal with something you are unaware of. If you’re lucky enough, people can leave comments directly on your social media page(s) or tag you in their posts. But others can mention your company on social media or forums, without you knowing.
2. Keep calm.
You might find some negative comments are unjustified and feel wronged. Always remember, you can’t put out a fire with gasoline. Don’t deal with an unsatisfied customer by lashing out at them. Clear your mind and deal with the complaint professionally.
Professional can get boring. If it’s not your style, you can also try to handle the complaint in a positive note. Inject some humor or playful sarcasm into your response. Expressing humor and humility in appropriate situations shows your brand's personality and can lighten up the mood easily.
3. Acknowledge the issue.
It can be tempting to just delete or ignore a negative comment but it won’t do your brand any good. Be professional and face criticisms head-on. Redeem your image and provide excellent customer service at the same time.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. It’s not the right time for excuses. They won’t care or worse, they might get angrier. No matter how humorous or light your reply is, it should still be a humble and caring acknowledgment of the issue.
Understand where they are coming from – what happened to them, where did it go wrong and what you can do about it. Be quick and wise in acknowledging the issue. It’s not necessary to provide a solution right there and then. Sometimes a quick apology for the inconvenience and a promise of providing a solution can appease an angry customer.
4. Take it behind the curtains.
Once you acknowledge the issue by replying to their post in public, offer to continue the conversation in private – direct message, phone call or email. Some critics can get aggressive in their approach or the issue can be of a sensitive topic. You wouldn’t want to make everything public. It is not a way to silence the customer but an attempt to provide technical support personally and more professionally.
5. Keep an eye on the issue.
Take note of the complaint and keep a record of your conversation with the customer. Learn from your mistakes. Prevent the issue from happening again before it can cause inconvenience to more customers.
6. DON'T FEED THE TROLLS.
Brand pages with personality attract trolls. Internet trolls cause trouble by provoking brands and people for the fun of it. They feed on attention and anger. You can respond once and then let them be. Don’t feed them and they’ll stop.
Assess the comment if it’s a troll or spam. Obscene jokes, swear words, off-topic arguments and irrelevant links and promotions are common signs of spam or troll comments. Unlike legit complaints, it will be best to delete and not respond to internet trolls.
Just like in the offline world, you will encounter unsatisfied customers online. You'll want to deal with them like how you do face-to-face. You don’t ignore them. You take care of them and resolve their issue.
Most critics feel better about a brand when their issues are addressed. They might reach out to your company again or, even better, replace their previous negative comment with a positive one. So follow the tips above and deal with negative social media comments like a pro.