5 Wrong Methods Brands Are Responding to Negative Feedback on Social Media

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The social network is an effective media that helps brands to grow at a faster pace through viral word-of-mouth marketing. However, there are also companies which are not willing to come onto the social media bandwagon because of the fear of facing potential negative feedback on social media.

Due to such fear, some brands that are already using social media as part of their branding PR strategy, may not be able to respond and manage negative feedback if it does occur. Hence, they might use these 5 common wrong methods when dealing with situation like this.

1. Delete As Quickly As Possible!

“Oh my gosh! We have a negative feedback on our Facebook again! (Pulling hairs) Got to delete it quickly so that others will not see it.”

said the social media manager.

Well, this is perhaps one common reflex action some brands will most likely do when they met a customer complaint on their social network. Deleting negative comments without resolving it or even responding to the customer, will draw a negative impact on your brand credibility.

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If the complaint is genuine and you deleted it, your other consumers will see your brand as not being responsible to admit the mistake.

2. Robotic Reply

“Dear sir, we have received your feedback. Thank you for commenting on our Facebook page, our representatives will get back to you shortly. In the meantime, please check out our website for the latest range of products and services.”

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This ‘official’ reply is actually copied and pasted a thousand times for all the negative feedback in the brand’s social network. And it will make the unhappy customer even more unhappy as this reply is not sincerely directed to him or her.

Imagine a customer who is already upset about your products and services. They call your company to voice their feedback and hopefully someone from your company can listen to their complaint. But what they have got, is a robotic ‘leave-a-voice-mail’ message from your company. And this, will piss them off.

The same robotic reply on social media will not be a good response to any customer feedback. The key here is to talk to the customer like a real person. Make some efforts to respond to each customer individually as if your brand is talking to them one-to-one!

3. Ignore It!

Social media communication is about managing real people and that is it! Since there are brands which are already into the social media thingy, they have to deal with negative feedback when the time comes. The most basic courtesy is to never to ignore the consumer, especially when they had expressed their unhappiness on your social network.

Ignoring a genuine complaint has the same effect as deleting the comment; when other consumers will see your brand as an emotionless and irresponsible brand.

4. Think Everyone is Your Enemy!

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Sometimes when things do not go in the right way, we may starting pointing fingers at others. Some brands will think that their enemy (the competitor) is disguising as the customer that complained on their social network.

And then they do this.

“Dear Mr X, I know who YOU are! You are trying to be funny in PRETENDING to be my customer! I will NOT be tricked by you. Ha-ha-ha.”

The moment you wrote that and published it on social media, your brand credibility will definitely be washed down into the sewers if the customer is truly genuine.

However, another situation is that the customer is in fact your competitor. You are right about it. The competitor did this to make you lose your cool; and once you become angry, he or she has won in making you lose your brand credibility. Hence, do not be tricked by it.

One method you can do to solve this problem amicably , is to apologise first and then ask this “customer” nicely for some verification to show proof that he or she had purchased your products before. If no verification can be provided, you will need to clarify it online.

You can say something like:

“Dear Mr X, as we have not yet received any verification from you for the past 3 days in order to prove that you are our customer. We will be removing this comment from our social network as of today. Have a nice day.”

5. No Closing Means No Closing

There must be a head and a tail to every problem. When you have received the complaint, tell the customer that you will investigate and will follow up with them till the problem is solved!

If the case is not yet closed, do not pretend that it has been closed. The customer who made the complaint, will want an answer or solution from your company. Hence, tell the customer that you will follow up. And do follow up.

Suggest solution to the customer and then take action to solve it. If the problem is too difficult to be resolved, you need to let the customer know about this difficulty so that both of you can come up with another alternative solution. In a nutshell, you need to let the customer know that your brand care.

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And once the problem has been solved, you can ask the customer to post a positive feedback about your brand’s follow up to his or her problem. Or you can simply ask for his or her permission to announce that the problem has been resolved and also to remove the negative feedback from your social network.

In summary

Social media is simply about dealing with real people. Do not be afraid when there is negative feedback on your social network. If the feedback is genuine, we need to accept that and then find ways to solve it. So, be real!

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2 Responses to 5 Wrong Methods Brands Are Responding to Negative Feedback on Social Media

  1. Richard A. Lewis August 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    This is great real world advice for brands on Social Media. I can think of a few real blunders that haven’t been responded to well by companies. I am sure they’d prefer to have done things differently and followed the kind of advice you just imparted. You can’t make everyone happy.. but you certainly can try to resolve things the best way you can.

  2. Irina August 21, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Excellent article, Jacky. I’d like to translate it and publish on my very young blog. Of course with link to original. Am I allowed? Let me know, by email, pls.