Having a social media account has become a common practice for numerous brands. Social media gives you the ability to engage and build trust with your current and prospective clients, increasing brand awareness and website traffic, which are all beneficial to your brand. Though if things go wrong, someone will surely find something to complain about like an unsatisfactory customer service, a substandard product, etc. It is most likely customers will tend to express their grievances through your brand’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account.
Your responses to negative comments, of course, depend on the nature of the situation. How you respond to negative comments can also reflect your brand's overall personality. That is why it is necessary for the brand’s social media moderators to know how to respond accordingly.
Below are a few ways on how your brand can respond accordingly to negative comments:
Avoid using abusive language
Even if your customer's comments or conversations towards your brand are abusive, do not resort to the same action. As much as possible, keep it professional and avoid responding the same way as the customer does. Remember the saying “the customer is always right,” no matter how wrong or rude they are. And if they take their angry comment publicly online, it will not only be them responding as well. Keep in mind that they are still your clients and should be respected.
Another reason many people post negative comments online is that they think they are being ignored and want their voices to be heard. Not all customers have the same length of patience. Acknowledge the customer’s issues as quickly as possible. Fast responses will make a good impression.
Do not ignore legal issues
At any instance that any legal issue arises, your brand should not turn a blind eye. Legal suits and cases are becoming increasingly common as social media is becoming stronger as a public platform. Archive any conversations, comments, and replies as proof when needed.
Apologize and offer a solution
An apology is something brands will most likely offer last. But, in any case, if it is your brand’s fault (such as giving a substandard product), then it is best to admit it and offer a sincere apology. Along with that, offering your customer a quick replacement or a refund will usually resolve the issue fast. But if it is a service failure, then an apology to the affected client and a coupon to their next transaction will suffice.
Train your social media moderators
If your social media account is managed by several people (or just one person), it is best to establish rules and protocols in responding. This will set the tone of your social media page as well and ensure that a standard is followed through.
Do not over moderate
Excessive moderation means you will end up deleting a lot of posts and messages, which will eventually make you lose followers. Not unless it is below the belt, abusive, or a troll comment, never delete rants or negative comments from your business page. If you only keep positive comments about your brand, customers may look for other opinions and sites for your brand's review and may eventually find a negative comment and will feel like you are not honest. Though, leaving negative comments will show that you are a true, reliable, and honest brand.
Look from your customer’s point of view
A lot of companies respond by giving out all the reasons a certain problem has happened. It is better to interact with your customers from a customer’s viewpoint. Understand the situation in their view, what happened to them, what it meant and how an issue can be addressed. Doing this will ensure your customers that the responses you give are not scripted. Similarly, having a quick response will ensure them that their opinions are being heard.
Social media is a powerful tool for companies to establish their relationship with their clients. Keep in mind that online or offline, you will always deal with unhappy customers, and knowing how to deal with your customers properly will affect your business in the long term.