Google, Yelp, Instagram, Twitter–these are all places where customers use as an outlet to reach out to a business or to review a product or experience. Eighty-five percent of customers state they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Your responses to both positive and negative reviews will be seen by potential customers so the way you handle a specific situation is crucial. Imagine being a consumer and seeing a brand has taken the time to respond to both its loyal customers AND unsatisfied customers. You’d be pretty impressed, right? Right. This is why we’ve listed the 6 best ways to successfully handle apologizing on social media!
1. Never Respond Aggressively
Always, ALWAYS avoid a debate. A negative review isn’t always a bad thing. Your response will show that your company is professional and has the customer’s best interest in mind. When a customer takes the time to write a bad review, they are likely a customer that CARES. Show them you’re willing to do what you need to make things right. Make sure to follow up with the original review and ask the customer if they are satisfied with the outcome. When the public sees that the once unhappy customer is now satisfied, you’re sure to gain more credibility!
2. RESPOND (timely)
Whatever you do, DO NOT ignore it. We’re in a time where “receipts” are always tucked away and ready to use when needed. If you delete a negative review, chances are the writer took a screenshot of it and has it ready to show, should it go missing. It’s better to tackle the problem straight on than to avoid it! Studies show that 95% of shoppers look at online reviews before purchasing, so make sure your customer service reputation is a good one!
There will always be those few reviewers that leave a far fetched complaint. Investigate this within your company and if there is no credibility then no response as needed. It’s as easy as that!
4. Marketing Strategy, Not an Optional Chore
Although reading through reviews and responding promptly may seem like a daunting task, as long as you take an hour or two per DAY/WEEK, you’ll be sure to see a positive return while you build trust with your potential and current customers.
• Thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention
• Apologize for the situation at hand and offer a solution
• Thank them again for allowing you the opportunity to make things right
6. Be Prepared
When disaster strikes, the last thing you want to be is unprepared. Make sure that your team has a plan of attack should a terrible review or social media shaming goes viral. First things first: ALWAYS apologize first. Whether your company is in the right or wrong, we all know the golden rule, “the customer is always right.” Second, reach out directly to the customer making the negative claim. Contact them immediately by phone or email to initiate a real fix. Communication through social media just isn’t a realistic way to solve a real issue. Showing that your company can stay composed and on top of things in a high-stress situation shows your commitment to great customer service. More business is lost due to poor customer service than a poor product, so handling a situation to the best of your ability can really help compensate for the mistake made!
Let us know in the comments below if you’ve had to handle any publicly posted customer service issues and if you implemented any of the suggestions above! If you haven’t yet, we’re so glad you haven’t! Feel free to save this post for future reference, in the event that you should ever need it. You never know when the next social storm may be brewing and we want to make sure YOU are prepared!