The old adage “You can’t please everyone” holds true even in the world of social media marketing and lead generation. Negative feedback is part of any online culture, and it’s something that’s almost inevitable, especially for a business.
Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are pretty much an open channel for voicing out sentiments and grievances, and there’s practically no way to stop them. The only way to handle these criticisms is to deal with them fair and square, with a delicate balance of addressing your audience’s concerns while at the same time protecting of your business’s reputation.
Consider these pointers on how to effectively counter negative feedback:
Be nimble and quick. Response time is the most crucial factor in handling feedback or complaints. Commenters may find it pleasant whenever their concerns are responded to in the fastest time possible, and that might also diffuse whatever tension they have against your business. It only aggravates the situation when feedback is ignored for even just a couple of hours.
Inform, not lecture. Give details, not make an excuse. When there’s a need to clarify certain matters, make sure that you don’t sound as if you’re on the defensive side. Also, to iron out the mess, use their language. It would be much easier to sort things out if there’s no communication barrier of some sort. Create an educational atmosphere, not a debate. a commenter – that comes with no exceptions.
But take control. Allow them to freely express their thoughts, but make sure you’re still on the driver’s seat. Don’t let them take over the pace of the conversation. You still have the responsibility of maintaining a certain degree of dignity for your business. Keep in mind that your goal is to satisfy his informational needs with the utmost sincerity you could muster, making sure that as they leave the conversation, their doubts are suspended.
Never antagonize. And this comes with no exceptions. No matter how brutal the attacks may be, you should never – under any circumstances – participate in an online feud. Always move away from the direction where the situation might blow up.
Act and follow-up. If the negative comment was due to an error made on your end, make sure you do your part, and inform them that certain amendments were done on account of their feedback. Don’t forget to thank them for bringing it up even –and especially – if it’s negative.