Be honest, there’s no escaping it. Regardless of your brand or product, at some point you are undoubtedly going to come across some negative feedback, and these days, more often than not, it will be voiced online. It can be easily tempting to just delete, block and remove any negative feedback, but consumers react well to seeing brands and businesses take complaints seriously.
The 6 steps below is our handy tried & tested technique that will help you, your product team and your consumer come away from a negative feedback experience, feeling a little positive!
- First thing first, read the message. Don’t just read it, make sure you understand it. Tone, inflection and any colloquialisms may all effect how you understand what is being said as you need to come away with a firm grasp of ‘what is the root of the problem here and how can you help?’
- Document the feedback. Whatever platform or system you have in place, sometimes a simple screenshot in a cloud folder is sufficient. It can be used for training and development at a later date.
- Don’t delete it! Remain transparent with your audience, they will appreciate it more. Deleting messages rather than dealing with them as head-on may give off the impression you have something to hide. (PRO TIP – if the message is derogatory or offensive however, use your judgement or your organisations code of conduct as a guide.)
- Don’t delay. Most social users expect a response within 1 hour, this is where time can be important. A prompt response will ensure a prompt de-escalation of the situation. Follow up with necessary departments if necessary to give your customers the fullest answer/response you can.
- Keep your cool. Keep the basics of customer service in your mind as you draft your response, your response may be directed at one individual but your whole audience is watching and will see how you react.
- Respond. Once you’re satisfied with your response – checking if you’re comfortable saying it to the customers face is also a good gauge of response – provide the apology and solution. This is your chance to turn a disgruntled customer into a brand evangelist!
We cover topics like dealing with negative feedback in our Social Media Ninja & Guru training courses if you would like to study this topic more in depth.