“A salty reply to a customer is far more damaging to your brand than the negative review itself.”
How to deal with negative reviews:
For anyone running a public Facebook page, this is a very common problem. (I take my hat off to you if it isn’t). Negative reviews. Since the dawn of social media people have made it their quest to voice their opinion on whatever topic they desire. Now of course this is one of the great things about social media and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you look closely I’m sure you will come to realise that for whatever reason we as human beings love to focus on the negative and not the positive. When someone has a negative experience with your brand their immediate reaction is to take to social media to shame them and let them know. Sound familiar? There are two main reasons behind this:
1. Unfortunately humans are much more passionate about negative experiences. When we experience them we are instantly filled with anger and frustration, we want to vent this anger somewhere. When we experience a positive experience we just enjoy it and aren’t as eager to express our feelings.
2. Because of the “Glass house” structure of social media it means that brands cannot hide behind poor customer service. Dialogue can be seen by everyone and must be seen to be resolved. This allows people to “shame” brands into taking action and dealing with their complaint.
Now as a social media society I believe it is important to teach people to try and spread more positive experiences and use social media for good but as individual brands we don’t have much control over the majority of the internet. We can’t really change the passionate reactions that people experience when they encounter negative experiences so there is no point losing sleep over it. For those of you who don’t know Facebook reviews cannot be deleted. As long as it isn’t violating Facebooks terms and conditions then it’s there to stay. You can’t just delete it like you can other comments. Now this is a good thing as it prevents brands from cherry-picking their reviews and thus giving a fabricated account of themselves. It makes it easier for consumers to trust our services and gives more weight to review scores. And of course this can also be a bad thing giving those same consumers great power in terms of your brand, or does it? I have worked with people who had avoided Facebook for years because they were too scared that people were just going to be constantly negative on it. You cannot live with this fear, it will cripple your business.
So how do you deal with this? Well you do have the option of disabling reviews for your Facebook page but this really is a last resort as you will lose all of that trust that comes with open reviews as I have just mentioned. Instead the main thing that you need to take away with you is to focus on the positive. Don’t let the fear of negative reviews slow you down. Focus on the positives. Focus on your service or product. Focus on making it the best that it can be. Focus on all of the positive experiences you can give to people. As mentioned people are more likely to express negative experiences but a lot of people love to express their positive experiences. You need to focus on two things:
1. Give people positive experiences. Make sure your product or service is the best if can be because trust me no amount of marketing can fix a terrible product!
2. Encourage people to leave positive reviews or contact you if they have complaints. Increasing the amount of positive reviews will mean that negative reviews can’t really hurt you.
And that’s it. Stay positive and focus on the good things. Reviews are a great way to prove that your product is better than your competitors. Sure you will get some people who are overly harsh and critical of your service but so does everyone else. Just make sure every negative review pushes you harder to get more and more positive ones. Make sure you reply in a professional manner and treat every review as genuinely as possible no matter how much you disagree with it. A salty reply to a customer is far more damaging to your brand than the negative review itself.