When it comes to brand awareness, obviously you are putting yourself out there for the rest of the world to see. And with the internet, the world isn’t afraid to voice their opinion. So, in a sense, it’s a risk, but it’s a risk that’s worth the reward.
You have to let people know who you are. Otherwise you’re ignoring a large pool of potential customers.
Unfortunately, when it comes to your brand image, there’s almost a certainty that your business is going to receive some negative feedback. It happens with every business. But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from putting your company out there for everyone to see. Again, this is a risk that is worth taking, and if you manage this negative feedback properly, you can turn it into a positive.
So let’s take a look at some proper, and improper ways to handle negative feedback.
This Is Not The Way To Go
So you get a negative comment or review on your business. Yes, this will happen. Let’s take a look at how some people choose to respond in the wrong manner.
Ignore it — The thought process is probably along the lines of, “If I ignore it, no one will probably see it and it will just go away.” WRONG!!! It’s actually the opposite. People will notice it and it won’t go away. The only thing it will do is show those who do see it that you don’t care about what others say about your business. This is not a good way of building positive brand awareness.
Delete it — On some sites, you have the ability to delete comments or reviews. Again, what’s the hurt in that if you just delete some negative feedback? Well, you might upset the person who left that comment. Chances are, if they took the time to leave a comment, they are going to take the time to see how you respond, and a quick delete will only infuriate the person who left the negative feedback. This can either lead to that person telling others about their experience and bad talking your business or them leaving another negative comment or review, this time much worse.
Fight Fire With Fire — This is a big one. It’s very easy to become emotional when you receive some negative feedback, especially when you feel the person isn’t being honest or they are over the top rude. But if you let your emotions enter into this little game, it can really backfire. There has been countless business owners who, instead of taking the high road, have let their emotions set in and fired back with rude remarks of their own. The only thing this does is add fuel to the fire. And in some cases, it creates World War III. It can also turn other customers away as they view this shouting match between you and your internet enemy.
This Is the Proper Way to Handle It
Obviously ignoring, deleting or fighting back against a negative review or comment isn’t the answer, so it’s best to have a strategy when engaging with a customer who has left some negative feedback about your business. So here’s some ways to handle those situations.
Find A Solution — There will be times where you simply make a mistake, and a great way to right the wrong is by offering something to the customer who is upset. Taking responsibility for your mistake with a simple apology and an offer – coupon, discount, free item, etc. – will not only resolve the situation with the customer who left the comment, but it will also show other consumers that you care about your customers and what they have to say.
Respond As A Business Owner — You have to handle yourself online as you would in your own store. It’s very easy to sit behind a computer and spout out vulgarities and yell at people, but would you do that to a customer who has a complaint within your place of business? I’m sure you wouldn’t. so you have to handle yourself the same way online. There’s going to be times when you know you are right and the customer is wrong, but it’s always best to handle those situations with the highest level of professionalism.
Respond Swiftly — It’s never good to let a negative review linger. This not only can infuriate the customer who left the comment or review, but it will also look like you are ignoring it. As soon as you receive some negative feedback, it’s important to instantly begin working on a response.
Cyber Bullies — Hopefully this doesn’t happen to your business, but at times a company will come across a consumer who will stop at nothing in order to drag that businesses’ name through the mud. Whether it’s berating or even making things up, these are the toughest ones to handle. I know we said ignoring a situation is not the right choice, but at times in these particular situations, it’s best to ignore these remarks. Confronting or even trying to remedy the situation only makes things worse. If you feel the person is providing false or inappropriate information, you can always ask the site to have the comment or review removed.
Handling negative remarks is not a glorious part of the job, but it’s something that is vital to the overall brand image. How you choose to respond to the negative feedback will say a lot about your company, and to some people, the way you handle your reviews and comments is most important. So be sure to pay attention to what people are saying and handle it with a level of professionalism.