We have all been there either the giving or taking end, but knowing how to handle a bad situation is the critical aspect of O.C.M. or Online Crisis Management.
NO matter how brilliant your business or service is, the likelihood is that at some point you will experience an unhappy customer despite your best efforts.
In the age the age of social media marketing the pendulum of power has swung back in the customers favour and many know it. The reviews can have a hugely negative impact on your business even effecting your SEO ranking.
Online reviews have the positive effects of improving SEO, promoting your business, encouraging customers of try your business and as we will have learnt from our previous blog post about social listening may even help owners understand what is wrong with their business. All great things.
92% of consumers now read online reviews, 40% of them form their opinion after reading just 1-3 reviews. That means a single bad review can really hurt your chances.
So what are the key things to do in order to handle negative reviews on social media channels.
What to do with a negative review?
well good news is there are is really only three choices and ignoring them is not one!
Apologise, if it's appropriate.
Generally the customer simply wants to be heard: it can be annoying that they didn't mention it at the time of service and get it on the social media marketing channels for everyone to see instead.
Remember this is the customer who honestly didn't believe they got the service or goods they were expecting, so firstly acknowledge that fact and apologise for their dissatisfaction.
Admit your mistakes and make sure that you talk to the reviewer person-to-person (not like a corporation-to-person).
Put your hands up and talk to them person to person where possible, acknowledge the review online first.
Make it up to them if you can do so, a second experience or a replacement product.
This tells the reader of the reviews that you take customer service very seriously and each customer is important.
As a result you have reassured potential customers and made excellent customer service part of your brand identity online.
Deal with inaccuracies
If the review is riddled with inaccuracies and can best be described as “self-entitled” and “impossible to please”. You can take a cheekier response.
If the review or comment is full of untruths or deceiving somehow don't be afraid to challenge this, the customer is not always right.
(making absolutely sure of the facts beforehand)
Play it coolly and humorously though, not when your angry and you may come across as hateful.
For example, just take a good look at how the Moose cafe in Dublin, handles some of their negative reviews.
Respond as the brand
Even that response failed to reach the level of greatness provided by Doolin Hotel that took a cheeky response to a blistering review of its establishment on TripAdvisor. It called out the reviewer for lying about the price they paid, bad mouthing the employees, and complaining about the poor wi-fi. (Which, consequently, affects the entire area in that part of Ireland and isn’t something the business can control.)
In the end, both small business owners came off as reasonable, supportive of their (unjustly) maligned employees, and responsible to their carefully cultivated brand identity.
It was clear from the start that nothing would have satisfied the original posters of the negative reviews. But the superstar responses to those 1-star ratings got the small businesses more shares and more good publicity than they probably could have purchased.
Effective reputation management is good online crises management and needs to be part of your overall digital marketing strategy, activities and plan. Therefore, you absolutely have to know how to handle negative social media reviews.
The best response to a negative review is whichever one will take the most sting out of the tail.. Aim to leave others who are looking at the dialogue objectively with an overall positive feeling about you, your company, and your brand identity. Admitting you’re wrong is best when you really are wrong. But sometimes you simply have to stick to your principles and explain why you couldn’t accommodate that particular guest’s desires. Other times, your best response is to accept that you can’t please everyone — and that’s okay.
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So if you require help with social media marketing and SEO www.cosmos.ie
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