What I have learned:
For most of our clients, we not only create their content and amplify it but we also manage their communities by responding to all of the questions, comments and in some cases, negative feedback. This used to be one of the most daunting parts of my job but it’s inevitable and frankly, we’re super confident in our clients brands that we’re able to deal with anything that comes our way (after we set out some clear responses at the start). Ultimately, what I realised is that there will always be someone that isn’t happy with something you’re doing. At the end of the day, it’s better to deal with those comments outright rather than to bury your head in the sand and ban them from the page. (although, sometimes that is the final resort).
Keep cool, calm and collected:
Sometimes there are comments that may potentially have an emotional impact on us, and that’s okay. (kind of). For many of our clients we have been partners with them for some time now, so we’re emotionally invested in their success, so when someone from Idaho who has never actually used one of the products kicks off publicly, it’s hard not to get irritated. But, we’ve got a great vibe in the office so we can take a step back and execute a fire response before things get out of hand. As for you, if you’re managing your social yourself be sure to sit down and think about what the root of the problem is. Is it because they are just having a bad day? or is it because your brand actually made the mistake? (put your hands up, it happens) – Regardless of what it is, it’s best to take a breather before replying. Nothing ever gets resolved in rage.
Replying to the infamous Internet Trolls:
Watch out for internet trolls because they aren’t like the others. You’ll know it when you’ve been hit up by one of them… they’re not out for any resolutions, they’re just looking for a fight, albeit behind a screen. Internet trolls are the type to provoke you, swear, insult, make rude jokes, or even create an off-topic argument. In most cases we would recommend responding to all comments but here, there isn’t a huge amount of point. You can’t win this battle, believe us! Ban, Block, Delete. *wave good-bye*.
Replying to negative comments and feedback:
Negative comments can be a challenge to answer because you don’t want to add fuel to the fire. Think of a negative comment as an opportunity to show that your brand is polite, positive and can sympathise with other people’s thoughts and feelings (even if you’re not feeling too sympathetic that day). If this particular negativity is about a previous order, could you offer a small discount or refund perhaps? It always looks good on the outside looking in when you’re happy to deal with a product related issue quickly and respectfully.
Always (as I mentioned before) stay cool, calm, and collected as it makes a more personable approach to the matter. Add your name at the end of a response to make the customer feel like someone has gone out of their way to deal with the issue at hand. (No one likes talking to a Robot or a Brand Logo)
Once you’ve started to resolve the problem and discussions are underway, we recommend taking it ‘off-line’ or at least in to your private DMs that way it can be treated as a private matter.
Reply quickly as it makes it clear that you care about your customers issues and that you’re committed to solving the problem on their behalf. After all, no one likes to be left hanging.
Put the ball back in their court:
Pass that hot potato ASAP! (we’re just kidding, sort of). Giving customers more options is another great way of dealing with negativity. For example:
Customer: “I don’t like your product! It smells disgusting and it doesn’t work – what a waste of money!!!”
Brand: “Hello ….. We’re sorry to hear you aren’t a fan of our _______! We understand that our ______ isn’t everyones cup of tea which is why we have 5 great fragrances to choose from. Be sure to try them when we’re next on promotion. For anymore information on our products, feel free to visit our website at www.____. Thanks again, Dannie – The Bark Loud Team”
With these tips in mind, and with any luck you will be able to turn a full blow hater into a life-long lover of your brand or business.