How to knock out negative comments before they destroy your online business?
You started a small family business, opened a shop, started working and selling your products. After some time you notice that your sale is getting lower and you need to start selling online to achieve better results. You open a Facebook page, start selling products and get a new F-150. Then one day a comments shows on your page:
”YOUR PRODUCT SUCKS, IT CAME BROKEN IN MY MAIL”.
You ignore the caps lock and see it’s someone who doesn’t know that items can be damaged in transport. You choose to ignore it. You see it’s late and it’s time to sleep.
In the morning you see a surprise. 500 new comments on your 4 thousand likes page. All insulting not your product, but the fact that you ignored a comment like that. How did it happen?
People are social beings, even the most lonely of us enjoy to have attention or a bright spot. Being ignored hurts, not just our feelings, but also our ego. The more you ignore a person while it’s trying to communicate with you, the more will the person feel angry towards you. It doesn’t have to be aggression in the literal sense, as in open comments against you or physical attack. The aggression can be passive, like denying to help you, or trying to dirty your name.
By ignoring the comment of the person, you have shown that you don’t have any interest in your customer feedback, which is a very important role in modern day society. Today the product quality isn’t the most important thing in the world, most products aren’t made to last a lifetime and customers have a worldwide network of sellers at their disposal. What customer expect from buying from you isn’t just the product as described, they’re also buying your service and your customer support.
No, not that kind of support (Source)
So how to solve problems like this? If it’s a comment or wall post, it’s visible to anyone.You recieve damage to your reputation. How do you solve it? By damage control. Governments do it all the time. When something bad happens in a decision a government has made (or hasn’t, doesn’t matter), the government does everything to solve it. Your spy was captured? But kind sir, you must be confused, that isn’t my spy. You bomb a village full of civilians? Well, it looked like a military base from 10 000 feet above. I’m sorry mate. I will do all my best to solve the problem, you’re a good coworker after all. That’s how nice governments do it. Imagine yourself as a beloved president who sometimes makes a bad decision, but in the end he looks like a nice guy. Don’t be an evil dic(k)tator who has to be always right. Be nice. Be kind. Let people think you’re here for them. Your product broke? O.K., no problem. We’ll get you a ne…WAIT! Stop right there!
Never, but never, post a solution public on a Facebook page. Apology, yes, solution, no. First, if you have an alternative offer who is visible to all your customers, offer it first. Maybe the product isn’t the one the customer really needed but he imagined it differently. Offer him a different product that’s maybe closer to the idea he’s got in his head and offer him a full refund for the first product he bought. Refunds are a great solution for most angry customers. Also offer free shipping for other products, you will lose a little money but gain a lot of respect. And in the end, respect is what matters when you give…
Be like old Vito. Cold, professional, but father to everyone (Source)
If a customer is still giving you negative comments, don’t go all Sonny on him (that’s a really bad idea) and counterattack him. Remember that only Michael was alive at the end of the movie, and the reason was that he was smart. And he didn’t play with children in gardens. Negative comments after you offered a solution for the customer show that maybe he just wants to complain. Don’t let him use your good will. If he is still angry, ask him to send his information in the inbox, don’t let the fight be public. There, you offer him another solution, what isn’t standard. This is used to prevent other customers from seeing cheaper product prices from those officially listed. Never give too much, give them little. If they’re still mad, they probably want to get the product for free. There you must find a solution and common ground, if communication via Social Media doesn’t help, you can always try to contact the customer via phone, Skype or Viber/What’s app. If the customer refuses any cooperation and starts spamming negative comments on your page, then it comes for my next article: When to use the banhammer?