Social media can be a double-edged sword for business owners. While you get an unparalleled opportunity to engage with customers, that means you will engage with both happy and unhappy customers. When you see negative social media comments, it’s tempting to fire off a rapid response. However, that isn’t usually the best way to handle them.

Acknowledge Quickly 

Customers are so harsh to brands online because they assume that the business will never see what they have to say or care enough to listen. As a result, the customers lash out to warn friends and followers to avoid a bad product or company. Speed is essential when responding to negative social media comments. Acknowledge the customer’s problem and try to remedy it before things snowball. You don’t have to have a perfect solution right away, but opening the door to have a conversation can lead you to a great resolution.

Flip the Situation 

In general, customers don’t always understand or care why an experience went poorly. Telling your customers that an employee didn’t show up for work or that a delivery was late will not assuage the dissatisfaction that they feel. Many companies rush to a place of defensiveness when replying, but it’s important to remember that the customer does not care. Instead, you should put yourself into the shoes of the customer and think about what happened, what the incident meant to them and how you can make it right.

Take Things Out of the Spotlight 

Social media comments sections are never the best place to resolve things constructively. If you can shift the conversation to another area like a telephone call, email, Facebook Messenger or another support platform, you can offer better assistance and de-escalate with greater ease. You should never present this as trying to silence criticism and delete the post. Instead, frame it as wanting to offer direct assistance without the customer needing to post private and personal information publicly.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say Sorry 

It’s hard to say sorry because it can feel like you are taking the blame or siding with a customer you don’t agree with. However, it is sometimes appropriate to say sorry. If you are in the wrong, a sincere apology followed with a refund or replacement will satisfy most customers. When apologizing, avoid sounding like a robot and sending a copy paste response. Personalization and sincerity go a long way.

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