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The Positive Side of Negative Comments

negative_newsEven the best businesses receive negative comments on social media. Sometimes it’s downright painful to read them, but remember: It isn’t personal. And there IS a bright side!
Just as positive comments help us understand what we’re doing well, negative feedback can offer insights into areas for improvement. Social media platforms provide a forum for us to learn things we may never hear about otherwise, or may not learn until after we’ve lost a customer. For gleaning no-holds-barred information, online commentary can be much more candid than face-to-face conversations and customer surveys.

Here are a few ways NOT to address negative comments:

  • Delete it – The customer is already angry, don’t make them angrier. The moment a comment is deleted, they will tell everyone they know about the experience that prompted the comment plus your horrible (and immature) response.
  • Ignore it – You wouldn’t ignore someone in your store or office, don’t ignore them online.
  • Fight back – We know the customer isn’t always right, but social media isn’t the place to make your point. Responding with the things the customer may have done wrong will only escalate the issue.
  • Be insincere – Nobody likes to receive a hollow apology in an attempt to placate an unhappy client.

To manage negative comments properly, ensure there is a method to address them within your organization. Empower the social media managers to respond and encourage the customer to call or private message to get direct contact. If the issue is something they can resolve on their own, it will go faster and you have the opportunity to gain a raving fan if done correctly. If the issue must be escalated, make the response and resolution a priority and close the loop on the comment.

In this light, look at these comments as valuable consumer research. Make note of all feedback, and use it to your best advantage. You may discover tips and trends that ultimately lead to better outcomes for your customers and your business.

Tampa Bay public relations