How to deal with bad reviews and negative coments on social media

Social media brings wonderful opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers on so many levels, and when done well, can be a way to find new customers and promote loyalty to your brand. However, this also opens you up to possible negative comments or reviews. When handled well, any negative feedback you receive online doesn’t have to be a bad experience and can be turned around to show that your business is honest, personable and human!

No business is perfect, and bad reviews happen, but using these tips to deal with bad reviews and negative comments can go along way to keeping your reputation intact.

Don’t take it personally!

Don’t take bad reviews personally!

We all work very hard to make our customers happy, and when they say something negative, it can be hurtful especially when a customer lashes out on social media for all to see. Taking it personally and over analysing everything can make things worse and affect how well you deal with the complaint itself. Take a step back and remember that it’s not personal.

Don’t write the customer off

It can be tempting to just ignore the complaint and hope you never see the customer again. However, using the opportunity to recover from a mistake as best as you can, you can actually build a stronger relationship with the customer.

Don’t argue online

Stay calm and professional and respond to the online complaint with empathy and offer to open a line of communication with the customer by another means. If the complaint is something that you can rectify with a return visit or a goodwill gesture, try a response like this:

“I’m very sorry you feel we’ve let you down. We always try and give our customers the best experience possible. We welcome all feedback and would like you to give us the opportunity to rectify any issues. We will contact you to discuss this further.”

A response like this will show any potential customers checking out your reviews that you take your business seriously, that you care about your customers and are professional.

If the customer has directed a complaint towards you that is unjustified, or simply just not true, then the best response can be to reply politely with the details surrounding the complaint and invite the customer to contact you to discuss it further. Make sure your response is succinct, professional and do not argue.

Sometimes a customer can leave a bad review for a reason that is totally out of your control, which can be very frustrating. In this situation, the best response can be something like:

“We appreciate you taking the time to leave us a review and we will take your comments on board for the future.”

Your initial response to any negativity is only the first step. Make sure you follow up on the complaint promptly and that you action anything you have promised to prevent the problem escalating.

Just remember that if you receive a bad review or a negative comment on any of your online platforms, the key is to be honest with your customers, and always address the problem, never ignore them.

Di Hughes

Di has worked within the marketing industry for over 20 years, working with print publications, broadcasters and digital agencies until she launched her own marketing business in 2016 offering website design, social media marketing & consultancy services. Diane is now Director of Marketing & Communications for nabuno ltd.