Whether it be rants or rave reviews, we've all seen our fair share of commenters and consumers share both positive and negative feedback via social media regarding a product or service. With the growth and expansion of social media platforms as a connection between businesses and their customers, interaction between the two has increased, for better and for worse.
Reviews, both good and bad, can serve as an opportunity to grow and expand your brand, while also increasing customer satisfaction and positive perception about your company. So, how do you turn what could be a negative into a positive?
The answer lies in a few deep breaths and a well thought-out response.
Responding to reviews might seem like a daunting task, best left to the lion-taming type. However, with a little reconnaissance and some careful wording, customer reviews could turn into a tool to reach out to a larger audience.
- Relax. Don't do it. The first step to intelligently responding to reviews is to stay calm. Negative reviews can be unpleasant and, sometimes, downright rude. However, as the Rudyard Kipling saying goes, "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you..." Well, let's just say that keeping a cool head is always the better way to go.
When you do get a negative review, the first thing you should do is take a breather,” said Shama Kabani, author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing and CEO of The Marketing Zen Group, in an article on forbes.com. “You don’t want to fly off the handle and do something to make yourself look bad. Especially if you think the customer complaint is false, your instinct is to react in the heat of the moment. But you’ll regret it.
- Linda, Linda, listen. It's no secret that negative reviews on social media can be a good way to get feedback on your business, products and services. If a customer voices their concerns or complaints, listen to what they have to say. Not only is this a good chance to potentially improve upon something within your company, but this is also an opportunity to retain a dissatisfied customer, if handled correctly.
- By all means, move at a glacial pace... When responding to reviews, it's important to respond quickly. With the speed of social media, things are constantly changing. Within hours, newsfeeds refresh and trends come and go. A quick response time shows that you're attentive toward the concerns of your customers. Many social media professionals suggest that your response time should be within a 60-minute window.
- #sorrynotsorry When responding to a review, apologize... and really mean it. A sincere apology can go a long way with your social media followers. It puts you in a human light and often garners sympathy about the situation from others.
- Private eyes. If at all possible, move the conversation away from public view. Solving customer concerns could be a lengthy process, better accomplished through direct message, email or a phone call. Not only will this allow you to get more detailed feedback, but you also have the opportunity to remedy a problem and shift attention on the problem away from the public eye.