Saturday we sat down for several hours with a current client of ours discussing their plans for their business. This included their website, search engines and social media. Each topic was deep and insightful to say the least. One of the topics that came up that we felt could benefit everyone was how to properly handle negative comments or feedback from customers in social media. Although this will not cover everything we talked about it will be a great foundation for any company whether you are just starting in the realm of social media or have been at it for some time.
Many companies not yet on social media may be avoiding it to avoid such negative criticism. The problem with this approach is that you have no voice to counter the negative criticism. With many social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Urban Spoon, Google+ to name just a few you will find that people are already talking about your brand. These online conversations can be positive or negative and if you avoid being online the only person you are hurting is yourself (aka your brand). With so many places to cover for feedback the question is where to dedicate your efforts.
Many who see negative comments or feedback want to immediately delete those comments from existence. Although this can work to some degree what you are doing is showing the person that made the comment that you don't except criticism, are not open to change, will aggravate the commenter, or move the conversation elsewhere that you might not be aware of which could hurt your brand. By deleting things on the internet is an illusion anyway, and will bring into question your integrity to not only the complainer, but all your followers. Do block users who abuse the site, and remove inappropriate comments (i.e., racist, derogatory, pornographic, etc.), ones that are too far off-topic. By taking the time to take care of each negative comment or feedback you are making your brand better and showing to the customer that their opinion truly does matter to you.
Firstly, according to a study done by The Retail Consumer Report in 2012 states that 68% of consumers that posted a complaint or a negative comment on social networking sites about their negative experiences, got a response from the retailer.
From that, 18% of them turned into loyal customers and bought even more. If you think that is all, you're wrong. 33% of them turned around and posted a positive review after that, and 34% of them deleted their negative review that they had left earlier.
This shows that, if handled properly, negative feedback can indeed be a powerful tool to gain loyalty from your customers and enhancing, not only their experience with your brand, but also the experience of other customers who view your brand's online persona – since they would be reading some of the positive reviews that the returning 33% had posted. One key factor we always note is you cannot make everyone happy. We all wish this was not the case but we can't. As such, we can work on making those that are unhappy into happier customers. In doing so we are also showing other customers, as well as potential customers, that we truly do care about them and genuinely want to see them have a positive experience with our brand.
Based on that our core customers are, and always will be, small to mid-size businesses gaining loyal customers is extremely important! With that the question is, how you should respond to negative feedbacks?
The customer is taking extra effort out of their day to inform you of something that is concerning them. This shows ultimately that they care enough to let you know. These are the perfect customers to help you build your brand. Turn this feedback into the silver lining that it is and thank them and turn them into an ambassador of your brand.
We have talked a lot about how to handle criticism in this post. One key item that we didn't cover, and please don't neglect them, are the positive comments and feedback that people post. A "thank you" can go a long way to further strengthening your brand and let those that follow you know that there information is important to you.
Part of what JM2 Webdesigners does, and for customers, is assist them in their Digital Marketing. Many companies do it all for you so that you don't have to worry about anything as the internet is scary. We don't believe in this philosophy as we want you to be the best that you can be while using the expertise that we can provide to you! This could seem counterproductive for us to make a ton of money but we believe that you are the best ambassador of your brand and it is our goal to help make your brand the best it can be. Although we do a great job at it we cannot answer every comment, positive or negative, a customer posts onto social media. We believe in a lifelong working relationship where we continue to help educate you, make certain that your brands online presence is handled professionally, and that no stone is left unturned to help build your brand. To learn more about what we can offer please look around our website or contact us through our online form and we will get back with you.