This question was asked to me in the recent event that I attended and delivered a session too. I had already addressed the question with few examples. However, later on, I thought to give up some more tips and ways to better understand and manage negative comments and feedback posted by customers on social media. so here are the tips on how to handle negativity on social media.
- Never delete or hide the customer comment or feedback. This is a highly unethical step to practice. It encourages customer to hate the company or brand forever and heavily spread the negative word of mouth.
- Apologize immediately, whether giving a second thought about who must be at the fault. This shows the quick attention from the end of the company. It will also calm down the client’s anger.
- Understand what the consumer is trying to address. Is it the service issue, or product failure complain? A process failure or service delivery issue, etc. Where is the real problem? The consumer in anger would have vented by writing irrelevant things. So firstly, try to calm him down and ask the real issue. Probe questions and try to get answers relating to the problem or complaint.
- Listen the consumer’s story at full length. Listening is the key to problem solving. Listen the whole story at list down points to discuss and solve.
- Call your team and listen the story at their end too. If you are, a medium or large size company and you have different team members working for specific issues. Call of the relevant ones and discuss the issue. Discuss on how the problem can be solved. Brainstorm the solutions and decide on most beneficial one.
- Try to work out the solution as quick as possible. Customers do not wait long to shift to your competitors after having a bad experience. Hence, address the issue in a smarter way and as quickly as possible.
- Make the consumer feel valued in the whole process. Send out problem resolution status messages to the customer at each step. Keep them aware about the whole process and keep them involved in it. Do not give the chance to customer to question you every time regarding the status of the issue. Make them feel valued at each step of problem resolution process.
- Make necessary process or product changes for future improvements, so that you will not receive related complains again. Learn from your mistakes and if there is a need to implement company laws, rules, or change of guidelines, etc, make a point to do it as soon as possible.
If you have faced any such incidents, and would like to share, please do share your experiences here and what steps you followed to deal with such issues.