If you operate a brand or company with a web or social media presence you will eventually encounter an unhappy customer comment or review.  Have you had to deal with negative comments online that may have had you wondering what steps to take to neutralize the situation? Negative sentiments are unavoidable. However, the actions you take to address and respond to negative feedback can make or break your company. This article explains how to handle negative feedback.

What effect can a negative review have on my business?

According to Forbes “28% of all business activity is now conducted online.”[1]

Negative reviews have the potential to breed distrust in your product or service, leaving a lasting impact on your business reputation. An enraged customer base can exacerbate the situation, resulting in irreversible consequences for your growth and sales. In some cases, a deluge of negative reviews can even ignite a boycott of your business. It’s crucial to address and manage negative feedback effectively to safeguard your brand’s standing. 

Don’t take the negative review personally

Building a business requires countless hours of hard work. But as an owner or employee, it can be disheartening to receive negative feedback. Remember, try not to take it personally. Instead, be prepared to respond. Ignoring negative comments can be detrimental to your business. It’s crucial to address them effectively and promptly to prevent them from gaining traction.

Take action

Maintaining the reputation of your business hinges on a strategic and timely response. Ignoring an angry comment for an extended period will only fuel the customer’s anger, making things worse. Moreover, the longer a negative comment lingers unaddressed, the higher the likelihood of prospective customers coming across it. This could result in the loss of potential customers. Mastering the art of providing a well-considered and timely response plays a vital role in ensuring the continued success of your business.

When faced with negative comments, it’s crucial to address them promptly and directly, while maintaining a professional stance. Taking criticism personally isn’t productive; instead, respond with positivity. Always strive to be polite, authentic, and empathetic in your replies. Demonstrating understanding and connection with the community can yield favourable results. 

The customer is always right, even if you do not agree

It is crucial to give careful consideration to your customer’s feedback. A negative comment might indicate a common issue experienced by many customers who haven’t voiced their concerns. A negative review can provide an opportunity for your company to enhance its products or services.

Do not fight fire with fire

Responding to a negative comment with more negativity can severely damage your business’s online reputation, potentially resulting in further negative sentiments from customers and community members. It is crucial to offer a sincere apology that is carefully worded to avoid causing additional harm to your company’s image.

Try to make things right again

When addressing a customer, it’s crucial to rectify the situation without making promises that cannot be kept. Take the time to provide a comprehensive explanation of how you intend to resolve the issue, including the reasons behind the problem and the proactive measures in place to prevent its recurrence. Remember, clarity, eloquence, and understanding go a long way in delivering exceptional customer service. 

Minimise the impact

To minimise the potential impact on your company’s image, consider moving the conversation to private channels. However, in cases where the issue becomes public, it is crucial to issue a public statement to demonstrate sincere attention to the matter.

While responding to negative comments is important, remember to address all online interactions. Engage with positive and neutral feedback from customers and communities alongside the negatives. Focusing solely on negative comments can draw unnecessary attention to them.

It is important to acknowledge that achieving universal customer satisfaction is impossible. When running an online business, encountering negative reviews or comments is inevitable. Swiftly and gracefully addressing them is crucial in upholding your company’s integrity. Instead of perceiving negative feedback as a setback, view it as an opportunity to enhance your products or services and gain deeper insights into your customers’ wants and needs.

Why choose us for your social media needs?

Digital Aesthetics excels at cultivating thriving social media communities. In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, establishing a robust online presence across various social media platforms is indispensable for the prosperity of your brand. Our expertise lies in collaborating with clients across diverse sectors, empowering them to expand their audience through exceptional social media marketing strategies.