Has your Facebook Page received a negative comment from an unhappy customer? Don’t worry, this isn’t the end of the world, that is if it’s handled correctly. The truth is, social media is commonly used as a customer service tool, therefore if you’re building your presence on networks like Facebook you can expect to get a negative comment now and then.
Having a procedure in place on how to respond to these comments can make the difference between it being no big deal and it being the injured seal during Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. If you don’t have a procedure already in place, use the below recommendations to create one immediately.
Step 1. Take a Deep Breath:
If you’re like most businesses you care about what people are saying about your brand, that’s why often times the first reaction we see from business owners is almost always anger. This is normal, but in order to ensure you respond and not react to the situation it is important to take a deep breath before going any further.
If you need to, step away from the computer and take a few minutes to calm yourself down. Once you’ve been able to calm yourself down, you can return to Facebook to start responding to the negative comment.
You may also be interested in “How A Negative Comment on Facebook Helped a Small Business”
Step 2. Recall the Situation being Referenced:
Review the comment and the details within the comment. Try to recall exactly what the customer is talking about or pull up the customer’s order details and review the transaction. Get yourself as familiar with the customer and situation being referenced as possible. Once you have a clear understanding of what really happened start studying the comment, what is the customer angry about, are you able to resolve the problem with the provided details or do you need additional information?
Step 3. Respond to the Comment:
At this point you have either a clear idea of how you’re going to resolve the compliant or you know you need additional information from the customer. Either way, it’s time to respond to the negative comment on Facebook. Chances are, the comment is left directly on your Facebook Page’s Wall, meaning it’s public for anyone to see visiting the Page. Because of this, we recommend responding to the public post and asking them to contact you either directly (provide best phone number), through the Private Message Feature on Facebook or via email (provide).
When you write this comment, ensure you acknowledge the issue and apologize for the situation. Then explain that you want to resolve the problem as quickly as possible and direct them to contact in a more private form. Ex. “John Smith, we apologize that you received this experience in our store, we want to make sure that we get this resolved as quickly as possible. Could you send us additional details on your visit in our Private Message feature on our Page? Thank you for your time, we look forward to getting this resolved.“
Step 4. Resolve the Issue:
Once the customer contacts you privately, provide the solution to resolve the compliant. This could be by offering a refund, providing store credit or whatever your policy is in this situation. At this point, handling the customer compliant is no different than if they had emailed you or contacted customer service directly. By resolving the issue you have let the upset customer know that you do care and are available to answer concerns, there’s a good chance that they will be a repeat customer. This would not be the case if their comment was simply deleted or left unanswered.
“By resolving the issue, you have let the upset customer know that you care and are available to answer questions.” <Tweet This!>
Step 4. Respond to the Public Comment:
Because the original comment was posted on your Wall, it is still seen by Fans and visitors. To ensure that these users know the problem was resolved, leave a new comment on the original negative comment. This comment should mention how happy you are that you were able to resolve the issue and encourage them to reach out to you if they have any other questions. Ex. “John Smith, we are so glad that we were able to resolve this issue, thank you for your patience. If you have any other questions, please let us know, we’re always available to answer them.“
The reason for this second comment is to let everyone else know that this issue was resolved and that your brand is available and willing to answer questions, even if they are not positive. Do not forget this step when answering a negative comment left on your Facebook Page, it can make the difference between building rapport and losing trust with new customers.
Social media is like any other form of customer service, you’re going to get negative comments. How you respond to these negative comments will make the diference in regards to how harmful the comment is to your brand’s image and overall reputation.
Have your own experience with responding to negative comments on Facebook? Share your opinions and questions in the comments field.