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Feb 27

Responding to negative feedback

Social media has provided a fantastic opportunity for brands, companies and organisations to gain massive insight into the conversations people are having about you.  But, firstly you have to be listening.  There are a variety of free ways you can sift through the mammoth amounts of conversations happening daily, and as my one main tip in this post, I would say please set up a google alert.  It’s simple, easy to do, and you will be able to find those  blogs where people are saying the good, the bad and the downright ugly about you.  Yes there are other ways to track what is being said about you on twitter and other forms of social media but I think that is an entire post in itself.

What I want to talk about it how to respond to the negative feedback you receive.  It can be done right, and it can be done oh so wrong.  The web is full of examples of how companies and brands have done it wrong, but winning an argument online, is not winning at all, you have already lost.

Choosing to respond to criticism say on your facebook page (for example) can be daunting, but there are 3 big tips I would recommend.

1. Act super quickly.

A negative comment that has been on your facebook page for 3 days, seen by everyone, fed on, gossiped on and ‘liked’ is not where you want to be.  Get in there and respond in a fast and timely manner, just as you would a customer service complaint, do not ignore and hope it will go away, or you can well be feeding the fire.

2. Sound like a Human, not like a muppet

Sounds simple right? But if you come out with what I term corporate mumbo-jumbo, without being personal, you can still come off like a muppet and not achieve anything. You have a name, this is the time to use it, don’t hide behind a logo or twitter handle. If people are jumping up and down to an anonymous twitter account, or brand logo, but once you put a human being in there, it can quickly tone the situation down, someone is listening, someone is responding, and that someone has a name.

3. Find a fix, try and make it right.

You have a fantastic opportunity to turn the negative comments into a positive customer experience.  It’s now not about the problem that matters, this is how you will fix the problem.  How will you make it up to them, and still sound genuine, this is the chance you have to shine.  How you respond can blow the socks of your critics, and even turn their comments into positive comments, return customers, and loyal followers.

In essence, this is basic customer service, but social media has allowed a new means of communication.  Again, this is not new, it’s just that how you handle your response is far more visible.

Responding to negative feedback