Responding to Negative Feedback
Most brands are starting to emerge in the social media world and offer transparency in a way never before seen. You can now talk directly with the people from Coca Cola on Twitter or you can become a Nike fan on Facebook. The gap between the consumer and the brand is gradually closing, but you should expect all around advantages from this merge. In fact, one of the biggest problems with going online and following the social media current is dealing with negative feedback. If your business is just breaking out of its social media shell and it seems that people have opposing views regarding your actions, you should learn a few things about how to react.
Identify the Cause
The first step in solving the problem is identifying its cause. If you are lucky, the negative feedback you receive will be to the point and you will figure out exactly what’s happening based on the comments you receive on your social media profiles. In other cases, you will simply fall prey to unjustified attacks and you will have to find the underlying cause on your own. Keep in mind that some people will simply cause problems because of a personal habit or previous experience with your brand. In these cases, you should focus on finding a solution indirectly, rather than dealing with each individual in particular. You should be able to make the difference between someone that has a real problem with your brand and those who complain merely for the fun of it.
Acknowledge the Problem
The easiest way to get some space between the problem and the solution is by acknowledging it. A simple tweet or blog post should suffice in most situations, but you have to make sure that your visitors know that you are working on solving their problems, but only if you really plan on offering a solution. If you won’t live up to your promises, this whole plan can easily backfire.
Customize the Solution
Once you know what the problem is and you start thinking about the solution, you should make sure that even those who are not complaining will notice your actions. You shouldn’t create a hotline for those who have problems and make them do the work; you have to reach out to everyone and offer some type of solution which you think will satisfy them. The solution might be expensive, but desperate times call for desperate measures. In some situations, you might even have to discuss the problems with your customers directly.
If you are communicating with your audience and you notice negative comments, you shouldn’t censor these opinions unless you absolutely have to due to bad language. You also have to learn how to control your temper and treat each complain with professionalism if you want to get ahead. If you can handle the verbal abuse without any problems, you can engage in conversations and see if you can find a reasonable solution. If not, you can simply ignore these comments, but only until you figure out a viable strategy for dealing with negative feedback.