Negative comments/reviews are important…
But how your company responds is even more important.
A Harris Interactive survey concluded that when a company addresses negative reviews and feedback directly, the customer often deletes the negative review and often becomes a brand advocate!
The Harris survey tracked customers who posted negative feedback during the Holiday shopping season. The survey found that 68% of customers that left negative reviews got a response from the company, and 18% of those people ended up becoming loyal customers.
The survey also showed that of the 68% of customers who received a response, 34% deleted the negative review and 33% then posted a positive review of the company.
How to Handle Customer Complaints in Social Media
- Take a breath, then prepare your response. Read the comment and try to understand the customer’s particular situation. Do not get defensive and fire off a public reply. Try to remember the adage, “the customer is always right” (even if they aren’t), and prepare a well thought out response – you only get one chance at this!
- Check for accuracy. Review the comments and identify anything that may be misleading to others who are reading the posts. Do not allow misinformation to spread about your company.
- Reach out. Send the unhappy customer an email or direct message to discuss the situation and see how you can be assistance. And remember, be polite, positive and respectful – this will go a long way.
- Post a public reply. Apologize directly to the customer for their unhappiness. Address their complaint and any inaccurate information, and provide details on how you will work with them to remedy the situation.
- Post a public follow-up. Once you have worked with the unhappy customer and come to an understanding, post a follow-up detailing the exchange. identify the steps your company took to address the situation and the result. Be sure to provide a contact number or email for anyone else experiencing the same issue so they can contact you before they decide to post negative comments.
It is important to remember that your company’s perception in the mind of current – and new – customers can be greatly impacted based on how negative comments and unhappy customers are handled in social media. They are watching how you respond and forming opinions and future buying decisions.
Therefore, it is critical that when a customer complaint is posted online, whether it’s on a website or social media platform, that it is addressed as soon as possible, in a direct, respectful manner and with a commitment to solving – or at least lessening – the customer complaint.
If done correctly, your company will have a unique opportunity to show its commitment to its customers and dedication to keeping them happy – a surefire win for online brand advocacy and customer growth.