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5 Tips For Dealing With Negative Comments On Social Media

What do you do when somebody says something negative about you, your staff or your company on social media?

Social media has given the public a megaphone and they are not afraid to tell everyone what they think about your company, good or bad.

The next steps you take are critical to changing not only the perception of that person, but also the perception of everyone else on social media who has just witnessed the angry post.

1. Always Respond

Customer service is a spectator sport. When a negative comment is made about your company, everyone is watching and eagerly awaiting the next move. Simply deleting a comment will make it appear as though you are sweeping the issue under the rug, and it will only incite more anger from the person who posted the comment. This increases the chance they will post more comments or look for other places to name and shame your company.

Whether you think the complaint is true of not, if you don’t reply, it will appear to your followers that you don’t care about customer service, which can be equally damaging to the perception of your brand.

Responding with genuine understanding for the person’s concern will demonstrate your willingness to resolve the issue. Set up real-time alerts for all of your social channels on your PC and mobile devices to notify you of any activity on your social channels. Respond quickly and appropriately.

2. Don’t Assume Everyone Works For You

You are a lot closer to your standard operating procedures than your clients and prospects. Although it might sometimes appear as though your staff were following standard policy or procedure, it might not seem so clear to the person making the complaint. Standard operating procedures are critical in every business, however, it can cripple a business that allows them to get in the way of the customer experience. Put yourself in the shoes of the other person for a moment. 

If your policies and procedures are compromising your core values, it’s time to revisit your policies and procedures. As management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, staff who feel as if they might lose their job by not following the rules either don’t know the core values of the business or they simply don’t trust their leader.

Instead of hiding behind company policy, turn upset customers into raving fans by improving their experience with your company.

3. Take The Online, Offline

By dealing with a complaint offline either by phone or in person, it can help you resolve matters one-to-one instead of a public slanging match on your social media profiles. It will appear to the upset customer that you are willing to make the extra effort in resolving their complaint – something that might help you with this next suggestion.

4. Kindly Ask The Person To Remove The Post

This is not something you can do straight out of the gate, nor something you should do online.

Once you’ve discussed the issue privately, ask your upset customer if you have resolved their concerns – this will confirm if there is any residual anger or other matters they would like to discuss. Once they are satisfied with how you have handled their complaint, let them know how important your online reputation is to you and kindly ask them if they would consider removing their angry post.

If you have done everything you can do to resolve the issue and trust has somewhat been restored, your upset customer will most likely be happy to remove their initial comment.

5. The Final Straw

If you have taken every possible step to contact the upset customer and they are unresponsive to your requests or they are increasingly hostile, using threats or offensive language, banning the person from your social channels and deleting their comment is a last-resort option.

If you do decide to delete the comment and block the person from your social profiles, you ought to explain the situation to your fans and why you did what you did. No one should be subjected to online trolls and your staff  – as well as your fans – will respect you for taking this action if required.

Have you had any negative feedback on your social media profiles? How did you handle it? Did it work? Leave your comments below. 

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