A fast social media response will prevent a small issue from blowing up, especially when it’s bad reviews or negative comments. Of course, being criticized and receiving bad comments is nothing new for companies on social media.
When you have thousands of customers who have access to your profiles on social media, it is naturally inevitable to receive negative feedback. Whether it’s a dissatisfied employee or a simple misunderstanding, how you manage the negative feedback you receive plays a huge role in your online credibility.
Famous and well-known consumer companies all over the world are working on ways to deal with this negative feedback they receive. By following these ways, you can learn how to respond to negative feedback before it has a major impact on your online reputation.
How to Respond to Customers on Social Media?
Responding to customers on social media, one of the biggest interaction sources of the brand is an indispensable part of the Marketing 4.0 universe. There is almost no brand that is not on social media channels. Although social media provides brands with advantages such as cheap advertising and continuous communication, it has very different dynamics than traditional marketing. This means that there is new information for brands to learn.
According to Manis, Wang, and Chaudhry’s work published in the Harvard Business Review, there are 5 points to consider when answering social media comments. Over 20 million reviews were reviewed by 3 Researchers on TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hotels.com, and Orbitz. Based on their analysis of the length and content of responses for each online review, they came up with five principles that can improve brands’ online reputation.
1. Provide a General and Concise Response to a Positive Online Review
Positive comments are what every social media expert wants and strive for. However, this does not mean that positive social media comments can be left unanswered. You cannot show rudeness by rejecting the communication request of your customer who loves you and shows and condemning him to a monologue. Even a simple “thank you” response will delight your customer.
In addition, personalized, long answers have the potential to be perceived as advertisements. Therefore, responding to positive comments is also a fine line. For example, it is a very good approach to continue the conversation instead of just leaving a like on a comment like Nailboo did.
2. Respond Later to Positive Reviews
Comments are usually read starting with the newest. It is much better to respond to negative comments before positive comments, so you block negative comments before they spread. You can then respond more comfortably to positive comments. At the same time, you gain time to respond to negative comments. You are also able to provide positive responses to negative comments.
3. Reply to All Negative Comments
Negative reviews affect purchasing decisions and potentially lead some consumers to avoid certain businesses altogether. To mitigate the damaging effects of negative social media comments and the potential loss of a significant portion of customers, social media professionals need to implement a complaint management strategy. A social media expert’s response to a negative review potentially blocks the next negative review because the future commenter could observe previous complaint management interactions for a similar complaint as their own.
4. Give Personalized Responses to Negative Comments
Making the same or similar return to every negative comment will not leave a very good impression in the eyes of the customers. Instead, address a negative social media comment and craft an answer specific to that problem, with a solution if possible. Customers will feel that they are in good hands.
5. Respond to Negative Comments ASAP
The most critical point of the question of how to answer social media comments is the part of responding to negative customer comments. Negative reviews aren’t just an effort to get the voice of one unhappy customer to be heard, they’re also a risk that drives potential customers away from your brand. The faster a negative social media comment is responded to, the sooner the person who wrote the comment will be suppressed, demonstrating how willing the firm is to resolve the issue.
Points to Consider When Replying to Negative Social Media Comments
First, brands should respond like humans, not robots. Customers share their negative experiences not to tell the machines, but because they expect a solution from you. Robotized, stereotypical answers can make them even more frustrated.
The first step after reading a bad review about your company is to find out exactly what it is. To see the whole picture, you need to do research. It is imperative that you display an objective approach when evaluating the event, especially if your employees are involved.
• Take responsibility.
If you’re wrong, admit it and apologize. According to one study, only 37% of unhappy customers were satisfied when offered a monetary solution, but this increased to 74% when the customer first apologized.
• Empathize and be specific.
A dry apology, unfortunately, is sometimes not a very effective social media response. An effective apology is both empathetic and specific for responding to customers on social media.
• Emphasize the positive.
Some reviews are not just negative messages, they also say things they like, and customers are satisfied with. It would be wise to address the positive side of the comment first when giving your answer.
• Present the cause.
You can use the phrase “It became xxx because it was xxx…” to get your customers to accept your apology. However, the reason you offer should not sound like an excuse, it should have a logical basis.
• Make concessions.
While compromising yourself for your customer’s satisfaction, make sure you balance it right. It is very important for your team to know what remedies to offer in which situation. Set the standards for this and make it a company rule. It’s nice to pamper your customer, but the cost of using your money should stay within reasonable limits.
• Offer a solution.
It would be both a privilege and a solution to replace a broken product with a new one. Whatever your solution is, make it clear in your reply to the comment that you did it. Be open and instructive. Don’t make promises about what you might fail to achieve, you don’t want to disappoint the same customer twice.
Honest bad reviews are an opportunity for brands to realize their shortcomings and develop a better social media response. Make good use of the free development opportunity. If necessary, train your employees, and make business processes more customer friendly. And definitely don’t forget to add the change you will make to your answer to the comment. 52% of customers expect to hear from you within seven days of posting their reviews.
• Be quick.
It’s clear that a bad review isn’t the best reflection of your brand. Replying to a bad review within the first four days may be a reasonable goal and an appropriate social media response. However, it is important to remember that customers are getting more and more impatient, so hold your hand as quickly as possible.
• Stay in follow.
After acknowledging and responding to the problem, find ways to continually communicate directly with that customer. Encouraging deeper discussion on the topic will show your willingness to listen and learn and will help them feel that you care. Likewise, walking away when you respond can make it seem like the customer is no longer a priority.
Dealing with Fake and Unfair Social Media Comments
For honest reviews, the above tactics will work for you. However, if a review comes from fake accounts or has been falsely accused, you can’t always follow the above steps easily.
So how do we distinguish fake reviews from real ones? Here are some indicators that point to a fake review:
- The complainant is not registered in your system
- Items purchased and/or transaction date does not match the complaint
- No recorded customer service calls
- Details are missing
- Stream of bad reviews in a short time
- The link between the reviewer and the competitor
- The complaint mentions a competitor
It’s okay for you to delete such comments or ask institutions like Instagram to remove them. However, this can be a rather long and complex process. The easiest way to remove a bad review is to impress your dissatisfied customer with exemplary complaint management skills as we describe in this post. But you can also use various tools instead. Like Socialays for example. Socialays correctly categorize social media comments and determine which ones to respond to first.
Thus, without wasting time, you can gain the appreciation of the user by responding quickly to a critical or negative comment from a real user who has a crisis. Offensive comments can sometimes be made with the aim of defaming the brand or damaging its reputation, with Socialays you can prevent this and gain an important place in the eyes of your followers and social media users.
Why is it Important to Reply Quickly to Customers on Social Media?
Customer relationship management practices are based on the necessity of establishing close and sincere ties with customers in order to gain a competitive advantage. For this reason, it stands out as an approach that is included in the marketing strategies of brands.
By meeting both the rational and emotional needs and expectations of their customers, brands implement customer relations practices aimed at achieving customer satisfaction, protecting existing customers, and acquiring new customers. Today, thanks to social media, it is possible to communicate with customers instantly and quickly, and this become dialogue and personalization.
Promoting Excellent Customer Care
The use of social media by brands to establish and maintain relationships with customers has revealed social customer relationship management practices. Research also shows that customers share negative responses from brands to reviews. In addition, brands’ approaches to problems and negative comments are among the most shared content by users.
Social media is growing rapidly with the popularization of new platforms along with existing platforms. This means more customer concerns for brands and businesses. Because the research shows that users pay attention to social media comments when buying something or making a decision. This is almost like a race for brands that need to prove their products or services and do not want to lose their customer base. Social media reviews, complaints, and post comments are important parameters for other customers, especially those who have just discovered the brand.
Responding quickly and effectively to comments on your posts shows you care about them. Your quick response shows care and prevents it from blowing up.
It can be a tiring job to carefully monitor all your media accounts and take the necessary steps accordingly. Various tools have emerged today for this purpose. As mentioned above, you can keep all your social media accounts under control by using them effectively.
Effect on Customers
Since social media is a public platform, negative comments reach a large number of people. Positive feedback and your comments play a motivating role in the customer’s decision-making process.
Your customers who read the reviews and reviews will rate you based on a variety of factors, including how quickly you respond to and resolve issues, how you respond to complaints, and your enthusiasm for pleasing customers. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, 89% of consumers read online brand reviews.
Don’t ever think for a moment that people don’t read the comments. Responding politely to bad reviews is crucial to retaining your complaining customers and social media users who may become your customers in the future.
Social Media Response Changes Communication
The development of social media has also carried communication to other dimensions. People are now communicating with social media channels rather than talking face to face. This is not about people getting to know each other. Users who come together on social media at the same common point look at each other’s views and experiences. Indeed, research shows this. This is a kind of development that can also benefit businesses.
Because you can listen to your customer’s problems and needs through social media channels and develop solutions for them without coming face to face with them. Perhaps the approach you give to a negative comment under a post will gain many new customers. But beware, the reverse can happen as well, so you should approach it with caution and care. Don’t forget that the reaction you show on social media is seen by thousands of people.