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Tips for managing online negative feedbacks from customers

So, you've rightly decided to establish an online presence for your business. Taking advantage of social media is an excellent way not only to grow your company, but to make yourself known. However, social media can quickly destroy your reputation if you don't know how to handle negative reviews or feedback. So, to prepare you for this eventuality, here are a few pointers for dealing with negative online feedback about your small business.

The source of the negative comment

First, find out whether or not the negative feedback can be seen by a majority of the people who follow you. If so, a negative opinion about your company's services or products could have serious consequences. If you are lucky enough to be well-positioned on social media, a negative comment could spread rapidly via “likes” on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, or simply via sharing. When faced with a negative feedback, it is essential that your small business responds. Your reputation is at risk.

If you are less visible on social media, the consequences of receiving a negative comment will be milder. However, in the eyes of potential customers, negative opinions do not reflect well on your small business activity. Some potential clients may change their minds on the spot and look elsewhere simply because of a single negative feedback seen on social media.

A negative review may concern a product or service sold to an unhappy customer with whom you've had a dispute. On the other hand, it could come from an internet user who simply doesn't approve of your business. In either case, you must respond and be prepared to manage negative feedbacks.

What to avoid when dealing with negative feedback

It is not always easy to stay positive in the face of negative opinions. Nevertheless, avoid doing the following things when you receive negative feedback online.

Don't delete the negative feedback. Deleting the negative review will only further irritate the person who posted it. Of course, if the comment is racist or abusive, you can delete it. But, be sure to leave a message as to why the comment was removed.

Don't ignore the negative feedback. While it may not be pleasant, you should never ignore a negative review, because it could reflect badly on your company's image. You should take action, communicate, and provide a response.

Don't get irritated. Receiving a negative comment can be annoying, but you must remain polite. Your business's reputation is on the line.

Don't give excuses. An unhappy customer does not want to hear excuses. Provide an honest explanation and offer solutions to the problem.

What you should do when faced with negative comments

Now that you know what not to do to manage negative comments, here is the attitude you should take when you are faced with such a situation.

Speak directly to the person involved. “Dear xxx”

Apologize. Demonstrate that you understand how unhappy the person feels. Don't hesitate to apologize if you are at fault. If you are not to blame, be empathetic toward your client about his or her unhappiness.

Suggest a solution to the problem. After expressing your gratitude, try to find a point of agreement with the person and offer a timely solution to the difficulty. If the problem is rather complex, we recommend that you offer to contact the person directly. Otherwise, don't put off fixing the problem publicly. It'll be an excellent opportunity to show how attentively you seek to satisfy your clients.