You’ve just noticed a customer wrote a negative online review about your company. And, another wrote a Facebook post about a bad experience with a member of your staff. What does a business do? First, don’t panic. The saying, “you can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time” has merit. Most companies have some negative comments or feedback written about them at some point. The key is how you handle it.
So, how do you maintain your brand? Here are some simple steps you can follow to try to resolve the issues on your own:
Contact The Person Posting Negative Comments Or Feedback
If you are able to determine who the person is, the first step is to contact them and further investigate their complaint(s). If the person legitimately had a bad experience, consider offering some sort of recompense. If you can turn a negative experience into a positive one, most reasonable people will either remove or amend their comments.
If Comments Are Untrue, File A Request To Have Them Removed
Most review websites and blogs have a section where you can file a complaint. For instance, Google’s blogger has a “Report Abuse” section which can help you first determine if the content written about you or your business is a violation of their policies. You will be directed to an area where you can request to have the content removed. Be aware “opinions” do not necessarily qualify for removal unless you can prove the content written about you is slanderous.
Offer Incentives For Positive Feedback
One negative stand-alone comment can adversely affect your business. However, one negative amongst many positives is much less detrimental. Last year, I hired a company to pressure wash my home. After his services were complete, I told him I was very happy with the work. He knew I found him online, and mentioned that he offers everyone who writes a positive “Google” review a coupon for a discount on their next service. Encouraging your satisfied customers to write positive reviews will help balance out negative feedback.
Reach Out To Your Current Customers
Act immediately when dealing with a negative news story, product recall, or a particular issue which you feel needs to be cleared up directly with you clients. Work with your in-house public relations staff or a public relations consultant to develop a protocol for both incoming inquiries and outbound calls to customers. You can then assign your in-house staff to call customers, or, outsource a company to help.
Focus On The Positive
Be sure to post client success stories, latest company news, etc. on your website, blog and across your social media sites. This will help keep positive content generated across the internet and also give people links to “share” across their social media sites.
Remember, negative feedback about your business is not the end of the world. Handling it in stride with sophistication will reduce negative impact, and, in some cases, even win back a disgruntled customer.
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