Best 7 Ways to Deal with Negative Customers

April 13, 2017
Written By Dr. Ryan Lowe

Energyhill always wants our partners to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to their social media presence. With negative comments and rhetoric, it is easy for difficult social users to negatively impact your brand. That's why our goal at Energyhill is to provide our partners with the right tools to make a positive social impact, in honest and responsible ways. Below, we've outlined what we've found to be the best 7 ways to deal with negative customers, of course in a positive manner.

Best 7 Ways to Deal with Negative Customers

1. Staying active = Staying in the Conversation

  • Set up Google Alerts to stay connected with your brand and industry keywords.
  • Look daily on your Facebook page as to how users are interacting there.
  • Tweet, Tweet! Listen to your Twitter throughout the day; this platform facilitates instant interaction and feedback.
  • If you use Yelp, Trip Advisor or Zagat, monitor them regularly to read over reviews.
  • Customers can also use forums, so monitor those on a regular basis as well.

2. Not all Comments are Worth a Response

  • Avoid: Small blogs, since these are likely not getting much attention. Your responses will only draw attention to an issue no one saw, and this just creates drama.
  • Avoid: A blatant attack from a customer, as a response may just add fuel to the fire. Any reasonable person reading ought to be able to distinguish the critic as a problem person.

3. Act quickly

Time instantly speeds up on all social media platforms. Have some templated messages ready on standby, that you can put out for handling particular negative comments.

4. Be Authentic and Honest

  • Remember you are human and so are they. So empathize and communicate clearly and honestly.
  • Offer a real apology. It earns respect.
  • Having a friendly tone and using your real name goes a long way.

An Example:
“Hi, my name is ____ and I hear you. We’re looking into it now, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you have any questions, contact me directly at _____.”

A response like this does two things:

  • The ranting person knows they have your attention, and thus should have less incentive to keep up the negativity.
  • You’re being real with real contact info. If they are still angry, you’ve at least specified a place to vent other than in public view.

5. Do the Right Thing Every Time -- Don’t Fight

  • Criticism is hard to handle. We don’t take it well at times. Nevertheless, don’t get defensive. Instead, start a conversation to explain your side of the story while still considering their side; this helps set the right tone for open dialog.
  • Apologizing and offering to fix the problem really helps win people over. Remember: your business is all about fixing the problem.
  • They are likely doing you a favor. Customer comments, even if the tone is volatile, are helping you learn how to be a better company.

6. Be Transparent and Open

Our gut reaction when dealing with negative issues is to hide it and take it offline. This doesn’t help others see your company as being proactive.

  • By putting effort into fixing the problem, your company is communicating to customers that you really do care. This will have a positive impact on your brand.
  • Use your customers’ issues to help tell your developing story.

7. Involve the customer when fixing the problem

Partner Up With Them! Your customers want to love your company, if they don’t already, and so they want to help. By allowing them to be apart of the solution process, they get a sense of belonging to your brand. Plus, your worst critics might have some the best ideas!

Let Energyhill monitor your social interactions, with our fully managed social media marketing solutions. We’ll pump the right kind of energy into your brand, and help you convert potentially negative image problems into a positive learning experience.

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