As a business or a sole individual you may well be used to having a few negative comments amongst the larger sum of positive ones. These comments may have started through word of mouth, in an angry email or even through the post. Now customers can easily voice negative comments on social media for all your other customers to see.
It may be tempting to ignore these comments and hope they go away, or simply delete them (if possible), but this will do more harm than good.
Whether in the form of a review, a message or a comment, all your followers will be able to see the negative feedback. But as a positive, they will be able to see your response too. Take this opportunity and tackle it head on. Below are some of our favourite ways to respond to negative comments on social media.
N.B: These can be adapted to fit any business or sole individual, you will need to determine whether you think the style will suit you.
The key thing to remember with social media is that your response is something that everyone else will see. Never use a stock response for these complaints, customers will recognise that you’re doing it and it will reflect badly on you.
Try to remember that you are talking to a person, so be polite and never rush your response. If you write something which insults or angers the customer further, then this can easily get out of control and others may join in.
Acknowledge their complaint and offer a solution. The following are some example responses which work well in addressing the issue head on:
@zmjohnson Yikes! Sorry about that! Shoot us a DM with the order numbers, and we’ll see what’s going on at the restaurants for you.
— Seamless (@Seamless) May 21, 2015
If the matter is sensitive, then your best option may be to ask them to email you. The result of this could be that the customer has cooled and will never email you, or they will and you can talk the matter over in private.
Note that just because you are talking privately doesn’t mean that you should forget all about customer service. Be polite, helpful and always offer a solution. Talking privately will also allow you to offer a discount or compensation without other potential customers seeing.
Here are a few example responses utilising the above method:
@parin_3 We’re sorry to hear this Parin! Feel free to send us a DM with more details.
— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) May 20, 2015
Whatever choice you make when responding to negative comments on social media, make sure you do it with forethought. Your customers are people even if you cannot physically see them, so you need to treat them as such. Acknowledge their complaint calmly and always offer a solution, they will thank you for it, and so will your onlookers.