How to handle online feedback

Social media

Social media

Feedback and comments are an everyday part of business – but now the whole world can see them whether they’re posted on your social media pages or review sites. Here’s how to deal with online feedback.

User-generated reviews and feedback are not only important – they are the backbone of many businesses like TripAdvisor, Yelp and Amazon.

Knowing how to make the most out of positive feedback or minimising the damage of negative reviews is hugely important to your business.

Managing negative feedback
While many companies adopt the ostrich approach to negative feedback and just ignore it, if it’s available for the world to see you can guarantee potential clients or customers aren’t ignoring it.

Social media is where most companies will face negative criticism. Whether the criticism is deserved or not doesn’t matter on the internet. No matter how good your service or product, someone will find something to complain about and will usually do it here.

You must respond to these Tweets or posts quickly. Don’t let the conversation get away from you or develop further – deal with it early.

Here are 3 steps towards dealing with negative social media comments:

1. Be truthful – if you’ve made a mistake say so, but also let them know how you intend to resolve it. If the customer or client has made a mistake, try and clarify this but without antagonising them further.

2. Offer something – for genuine complaints offer something in return – maybe a freebie or discount. If you can prove that their complaint was a one-off you could make them into a loyal customer by providing great customer service.

3. Correct it – show that you’ve either resolved the issue or put practices in place to make sure it never happens again.

Smartphone with message bubbles of conversation

Smartphone with message bubbles of conversation

Review sites can be equally as powerful. If you find yourself getting a number of negative reviews there might be something in your company that needs resolving. See if there’s a common theme (bad service, poor product) and respond to each review with your plan to fix it.

Keep any response brief and factually correct. Don’t get angry, but also don’t be too apologetic. The person complaining is human – remember that. Talk to them like a human. If the issue is resolved and everyone is happy, you can then ask them to take the review down.

How to make the most of positive feedback
Hopefully your company will be getting overwhelmingly positive reviews. While you might assume that this is the norm, you should still be taking advantage of it.

If you’re getting great reviews posted on Facebook, Twitter or sites like Amazon, here are the 3 steps to make the most of them:

1. Reply – apart from being common courtesy, it’ll make the reviewer feel special and that their words matter. If they are reviewing or commenting on a specific product, ask if they have had similar experiences with any of your other products. The more reviews you get, the easier it is for people to find your products. Also, if possible send them a private message suggesting they review you on other sites as well.

2. Share – on social media, make sure to retweet or share your positive feedback. People who follow your company might not see all the updates or comments – by sharing them you increase the chances of them being seen.

3. Highlight – you can use the reviews as testimonials, have your 5-star rating on your site or link to review sites on your home page. If you get a particularly glowing review on Twitter, you can pin the tweet to the top of your timeline so it’s the first tweet people see when visiting your profile page.

 

Posted by the Secret Businessman