These days, it is too easy for internet “trolls” to satisfy their hunger for bashing brands online. But there are also genuinely dissatisfied customers or victims of misunderstanding who want to vocalize their concerns.
Trolls want their anger to be publicly seen by dropping off offensive and unpleasant comments on a brand’s social media profile. Dissatisfied customers have no other option left.
Knowing how and if you should actually respond to these comments is a key aspect if you wish to not have your image tarnished. Responding in a correct manner can even transform that once angry customer into a happy one.
Let’s see how!
Do’s and Don’ts
DOn't: delete all comments
If a comment is just offensive without requesting an explanation for a concern, then freely delete. If the comment addresses a real issue, keep it. Others might have the same question and this will keep them from repeating it. This will also show that you have nothing to hide.
DON'T: RESPOND AGGRESSIVELY
Keep calm even if you may have reasons to give them a taste of their own medicine. Your community will appreciate the patience and diplomacy. It’s not worth risking your chance to turn the negative into positive.
DON'T: MAKE FALSE PROMISES
If you deem the comment useless, don’t promise that you will take it into account. Or return the money because the customer is unhappy. This will cause more damage than initially. Analyze the problem and ask or explain your customer how you can and will help.
DO: RESPOND QUICKLY
Negative comments tend to create more interest. Don’t delay replying. This will prevent this comment from becoming something more damaging, and will show your community that you care and you are involved.
DO: THANK THEM FOR FEEDBACK
Negative comments should be treated like constructive criticism. Thank them, apologize for the situation and genuinely use their feedback to improve your product/service. By doing so, you might even have a new brand ambassador.
DO: TAKE THE CONVERSATION OFFLINE
Acknowledge their feedback and ask them to take the conversation offline. This will prevent more negative attention to your page and keep the follow-up private.
DO: PERSONALIZE YOUR REPLY
Generic replies will only make you look superficial and careless. Take the time to craft a personalized reply, especially if the comment includes specific details.
Use these tips to stay on top of negative comments. You may consider drafting a social media crisis communication plan to guide you. Craft your own list of do’s and don’ts. But whatever you do, build a connection with your customers and your audience. They will see that you care about them and they will become your most important asset. Lastly, don’t forget your brand values. Stick to it throughout any encounter you may have.
At ElixIR, we are conscious of the negative impacts social media comments have. We are happy to tackle the challenge together and help your brand by crafting a tailored crisis communication plan that will not only drive negativity away, but will turn that into positive PR opportunities and transform “trolls” into loyal ambassadors.