With your business online, you can find yourself spread across multiple platforms such as Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and blogs. Unfortunately, that means you are also open to criticism, making it easy for disgruntled customers to leave negative reviews/ feedback.
We have some tips to help you deal with any negativity you might receive on the World Wide Web.
- Accept you’re in the public eye.
When you create any kind of online profile for your business, you do so with the knowledge that it makes you accessible to the public. This means you will be open to other people’s comments and opinions being written about you and your business, and you can’t always control the message.
- Remember the positives.
On social media, nine times out of ten you will receive positive comments. However, there will be that one comment that doesn’t make you feel so light and fuzzy, and it will be this one that keeps you up all night. It is human nature to want to please everyone and dwell on it, but if you can train you brain to automatically click over and remind you of the nine other positive comments you will be all the happier for it.
- Give it space.
It can be the worst feeling in the world to read a negative review. Your heart can start to pound and you question everything you’ve done up until that point. At this point it’s wise to step away from the source of negativity; shut down your laptop, lock your phone, walk away and try to focus on something else for a while. This will give you the chance to calm down before making any rash decisions and, hopefully, allow you to put some space between you and the negativity.
- Determine if it’s worth a response.
There are two kinds of negative reviews: constructive criticism and just plain nasty. Being able to understand which one you are dealing with is key to providing an appropriate response. A troll is very easy to spot – their comments will be blunt, hurtful, offensive and completely unnecessary. They comment simply to get a response out of you and/or others online. When a comment is not necessary or constructive, your simplest, most efficient method on social media is to hit delete and if it’s from a repeat offender, block the user to avoid any future unpleasantness. If it’s a review, you might sooner speak with the user privately. Deleting a review can backfire, so focus on encouraging more people to write positive ones in order to drown out the nay-sayers.
- Embrace constructive criticism.
On the other hand, if the comment is genuinely making a valid point, it’s a good idea to learn how to recognise constructive criticism. In fact, if you know how to take critique from others, you will consistently learn and grow. If someone makes a suggestion for something that they weren’t impressed by, this information is actually helpful and can help you improve your content or services in the future! Take on board the helpful comments, thank them and embrace it.
- Take it away from the public.
When responding to a comment or review, always keep it simple with the likes of “Hi NAME, thank you for your comment. Your opinion is important to us and we will be in touch to discuss your concerns further.” This shows other clientele that you are professional, prompt and care about feedback.
Then take the time to message the person privately. It may be that the issue is resolvable and they end up a happy customer. They might even remove their initial comment from your page. If, on the other hand, they are beyond appeasing, you have removed their negativity away from the public eye which can deter future clients and customers.
- Don’t go on the defence or offence.
If you choose to comment back, avoid getting overly defensive or, worse, offensive. After giving it some time and space, come back with a clear head when you write your response. It’s also best to avoid getting roped into commenting more than once. Write a response, end it and leave it at that. If a commenter tries to goad you into responding again, ignore it; you’ve said your piece and any further discussion will just prolong those negative feelings.