What is your 3 am social media problem? The chances are, especially if you are a small business, it will be negative reviews. Social media has given everybody a voice, good and bad. As a business or marketer, we need to embrace both. After all, negative reviews may not necessarily be a bad thing. Why?
Amongst others, negative reviews help the business or brand improve. See them as 'unsolicited feedback' to improve the quality of your product, service or customer experience. Social media has made it easier for people to express themselves. In turn, it has made it easier for brands to identify shortcomings and work on them. When the job is well done, it can demonstrate to your target audience the brand's willingness and commitment to make things better. This is more powerful than any advertising. But first, you must have a strategy to manage negative reviews. Here are some tips to guide you.
1. Don't make it personal
Never treat criticisms as a personal attack. It's just business. If you take it personally, you will only heighten the negative emotions that come with bad reviews. In that state, you risk clouding your response to the latter, which may aggravate things.
2. Don't walk away
Every review deserves a response, even the bad ones. Keeping silent is not an option. See it as an opportunity to either turn around a bad situation or inputs for improvement. The fact is, if you keep your emotions in check, responding to and acting on a bad review will benefit the business. But stay humble in your response.
3. The business owner's response
Responding to a bad review is probably the best platform to demonstrate your professionalism. But you've got to respond as a business owner and not as an individual. It's a mindset you've got adopt when responding to a negative review. You'll likely adopt a more objective perspective of the circumstances and problem.
4. Avoid a defensive stance
Do not adopt a defensive stance. This might portray to customers your unwillingness to change things. Instead, acknowledge the problem or inconvenience you may have caused them and promise to look into it. Sometimes, all it takes to appease them is an assurance you will act on their complaint.
5. Communicate your investigation and resolution
The tension isn't likely to be diffused by your acknowledgement of the negative review. The angry or upset customer can only be appeased by a solution, if not at least the findings of your investigation. It's important they know you've acted on their complaint.
6. Be thankful
Let angry or upset customers know they are valuable too. The fact is they've made a contribution to the future well being of the business. You now have a shortcoming to address, which can help make things better.
It is imperative to build into your social media marketing strategy a plan to manage negative reviews. They are important to your digital brand's standing. Connect with us to learn how to manage them effectively.