Guest Blog Post — Jim Luff from Chosen Payments | Responding To Online Negativity

When someone posts a negative comment or review about your business, it might seem damaging to you.  If you ignore it, tell them off or tell them to go do business elsewhere, you may be missing a boat.

Social media can be a remarkable tool for building your online reputation and promoting your brand.  No matter which social platform you use, you can turn your account into a stage to share exceptional customer service and increase your chances for future sales.

No matter how frustrating difficult clients might be, with the right response it is possible to convert angry, raving customers into loyal, appreciative customers.

Here are some easy steps:

Step 1: Listen

Responding to negative comments is an important part of managing your reputation.  Managing a negative review or comment begins with being aware of it.  You can use tools that will alert you when your company name has been posted.  These tools include Google Alerts. Mention (notifies you when your name is hash-tagged or mentioned in social media) and of course visiting review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor.com and others to see what people are saying.  Internet forums and specialized social media pages also have to potential to harm your image if not monitored.

While it is difficult to monitor every comment made about your company, watching your social media can give you the head start you need to tackle problems quickly and effectively.  Remember, the longer a negative review goes without a response or acknowledgement, the more damage is done.

Step 2: Respond

One thing about responding on social media is the lack of a human voice to hear empathy and true apologetic tones.  So, please do not try to use a canned response that you copy and paste.  It only makes it worse.  All responses need to be in a friendly and intimate way – even if you are angry about the post.  Remember, everyone is reading what you write.  Introduce yourself, your position in the company and issue an apology as soon as possible.  You don’t have to admit “guilt”.  You can just say something like, “Hi Bob, my name is John and I am a manager here at ABC Company. We are looking into this problem now, and I will get back to you with a solution as soon as I can. If you have additional questions, you can contact me directly at [number]”.

Step 3: Respond Quickly

Though you want to take some time and decide what your response is going to be, you really need to deliver that apology and invitation to call very quickly.

Most people would expect a reply to their concerns on social media within a couple of days but and angry customer will expect responses and resolutions within minutes.

If you post new content every day, then you have no excuse for ignoring a negative message.  If someone leaves a complaint, then comes back to see you’ve shared news about your sales or new employee but haven’t addressed their issue, things will get ten times worse as they feel angry, ignored, and unimportant.  Responding quickly shows your customer they are important.  Show the customer they have your attention while also showing a human element.

Step 4: Respond Publicly

Just because someone called you out in public, doesn’t mean that you’re going to feel comfortable dealing with it in a public manner.  However, you should try to move the conversation into private emails or phone calls.  It is still important to respond publicly.

When the conversation goes private, you take away the opportunity for others to see how you fixed the issue.  Follow-up publicly with as much information as you care to share to show that the problem was addressed and encourage your client to do the same.  While negative reviews are upsetting, they also provide opportunities to show just how much you value your customers.

Step 5: Make it Right

Just say – I’m sorry!

It’s not enough to acknowledge online complaints.  You need to fix the problem.  Sometimes, you can accomplish this with a simple apology.  Or, you can offer a refund, or deal with the issue in some other manner.  You should be able to win over critics in no time as long as you start with an apology for upsetting someone.

The truth is, we all make mistakes, and we all deal with difficult customers. It’s how you address the concerns that people will remember from social media posts.

You can’t just expect other people to see that a client is just a difficult person who posted a negative review.  You have to be willing to show that you’ll go the extra mile to keep your customers happy, no matter how unfair they might be.

 

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Posted on Apr 13 2017

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Guest Blog Post — Jim Luff from Chosen Payments | Responding To Online Negativity

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