Everyone's got an opinion about something. But what do you do when the opinion is a negative one about your business? Getting negative feedback can be a deflating experience, especially if it's on social media where everyone sees it. There are a couple of reasons negative comments could be alarming.
Negative feedback tends to outnumber positive feedback. When things go right people do not necessarily feel compelled to comment about it. But at the slightest hint of anything adverse or undesirable customers are quick to let everyone know.
Negative feedback tends to be credible. These are not creative releases churned out by paid copywriters. Most of these are emotional and passionate accounts by prospects and customers about what went wrong while they were transacting with your business. You can bet people will believe what complainants have to say.
Negative feedback gets around. Nothing spreads bad news more quickly than word-of-mouth. For one, the message is most likely full of emotion, and people easily identify with such messages. Second, these complaints most likely tell the story of what happened. People remember stories and they tend to stick.
So is your business doomed if you find negative comments about you on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networks? Depending on several factors, including the size of your following and the extent of your social media reach, negative comments can make things difficult for your business but do not necessarily mean that all is lost. In fact, if you deal with the issues head-on and craft your responses with care, you could even turn these negatives into opportunities for your business to evolve and grow.
There are several approaches to dealing with negative comments. Here is one that I recommend.
Don't Brush It Off
If your customers are already feeling testy because of a bad experience dealing with your brand, it doesn't help you a single bit if you ignore them and hope that it all goes away. It won't. And your inaction further validates the negative review. You need to accept that there is an issue and respond to the comments.
Don't Fight Fire with Fire
Two wrongs don't make a right, as they say, and replying to a negative comment with another negative comment won't do you any good. You need to show restraint because you stand to lose much more if you fly off the handle and come out swinging. When someone throws a negative review your way you will suddenly end up with the spotlight on you. People will watch and wait for your next move and they will pass judgment on you based on how you handle the situation.
Show That You Care
Instead of firing back at the complainants, let them know that you are concerned about the experience they had. Everyone is watching your next move by now and you earn "plus" points by acknowledging that there may have been a problem with your product or service and that you would like to address the issue and make the necessary corrections.
Convert the Negative into a Positive
"Problems are cleverly-disguised opportunities," goes a popular saying. When you receive negative feedback it may appear bad, but if you learn from it you can turn it into an advantage. The situation forces you to investigate your processes and make the necessary revisions. The experience can help you emerge as a stronger and better business.