While there are innumerable advantages, taking the business online, could have its own set of cons as well. One of the significant things that demand your utmost attention is the feedback that comes from your audience, whether negative or positive.
While positive comments fill you up with ecstasy and motivate you to consistently improve the business and services to match the standard of customers; on the flip side, negative reviews sting like a tight slap on the face. Therefore, the question that arises here is, should you put forward the other cheek or hit back to the reviewer?
At some point, almost every business owner has experienced unreasonably negative comments or reviews from the audience. Most of the times, despite being an unfair review, you feel helpless when it comes to taking it down, considering different platforms come with varied policies.
Moreover, even in general, it could be quite difficult to get a review eradicated and protect your business reputation from getting hampered. In such a scenario, what can you do? There are certain businesses who have taken the initiative to hit back in hilarious ways. However, it might not work the same for your business.
Having said that, here are some of the universal tips that will help you respond to negative feedback.
1. Don’t Lose Your Calm:
The harsh reality of the business world is that you cannot please and satisfy every single person. There would be customers head over heels in love with your brand while there are some who would be despising your entire methodology just because they had a bad experience, or they thought that they had one.
Irrespective of how untrue or bad the review is, your mantra should not be to lose the calmness at the sight of it. Even before you let your aggression take over, keep in mind that your reply is going to be in the public eye. Thus, make sure that whatever you are posting is truthful and displays that you genuinely care for your customer.
You can also add a few sarcastic words into your review, just to ignite the game on your side. Look at this quirky example that can leave anyone in splits:
2. Think Before You Reply:
Coming across a negative comment or a bad review might give you the temptation to reply to that customer then and there. After all, there are certain horrible things being posted about you on the internet, how could you not react, right?
However, responding in the moment’s heat can turn the situation worse for you. Therefore, it is recommended that you take some time to consider your reply rather than jumping to the conclusion.
Take your time to comprehend the context of the feedback and then curate a reply. If you are good at humor or have a person on your team who can be hilarious, ask for help and use this ability to your benefit. Replying with authentic wittiness can defuse the tension in the air. In this way, tasteful humor can easily turn a bad situation into a good one.
3. Don’t Collect Pebbles:
It is very easy to think about controlling the damage in such a way that it would soothe the commenter. In most of the situations, businesses take this as their priority and responsibility. Although the need to resolve the issue is obviously vital, however, your first responsibility should be towards your brand and your target audience.
Here is how you can take it. By now you would be quite clear of your target audience, right? It includes those people who hold the potential to turn into paying customers and advocate your brand through word-of-mouth philosophy. Thus, you should be concentrating on gold than trying to collect pebbles.
In other words, concentrate more over those people who can turn into qualified leads and purchase something from you. If you think that the commenter is not a part of your audience or might not be there in the long term, you should not be going overboard so as to appease that person. On the other hand, address the issue and try to suggest a resolution as well.
But, if things are not working, you should not be putting too much effort.
Have you heard about the savage J.K Rowling? Look at her response:
4. Don’t Be Too Generic:
Nobody likes the same old simple and generic replies coming out of a business brand, primarily if your target audience covers up millennials. These youngsters have taken over the majority of the internet and online sales. Thus, there is no way you cannot count upon them.
Keep in mind that a generic and straightforward statement simply shows how frustrated you already are. You have to be in direct touch with your customer. So, make the response customized and address their concerns rather than copy pasting the statement to each and every person.
Needless to say, a copy-paste response can easily infuriate your commenter as segregating the statement is not a tough job. Add a bit of savagery and your commenter would be impressed in seconds. Look at this example:
5. Look for Hopeless Communications:
Whether you are selling products online or just sharing content, there are different types of people you are meant to come across. Right from people who like creating a ruckus through emotional comments to the ones who get offended on every single thing – you might also encounter the ones who troll your brand consistently and use offensive language to ridicule it in every manner.
It would be a rare incident for you when you can argue and win in front of any of these kinds of people. Again, as mentioned above, you should not be collecting pebbles, try to figure out whether the customer is worth responding to or not.
If not, then it would be better to hide or delete the feedback, unless you have already achieved a PHD in witty responses. In the latter scenario, sharpen your wit and come up with an ideal answer that would not just shut those commenters but would let your audience have a moment of laughter as well.
6. Consider the Intent of the Message:
There are times when you may stumble upon unclear responses. Or, the possibility is that the real issue might not always be clear. When this happens, your best approach should be to understand the intention behind the feedback.
Try to figure out the commenter’s emotions through words. Is it hostile? Was the commenter confused? Does the review sound frustrated? Or whether the feedback is funny or not. Once you have successfully managed to figure out the way the message was created, then craft an adequate reply.
7. Have the Knack of Transforming:
Being an online content provider or business person, you should have the knack to convert a completely negative situation into a positive one. And, how is that possible? All you need to do is change the narrative and take responsibility for the experience.
It is not necessary to apologize for everything or ban an offensive comment. Further, writing a lengthy response is also not important every single time. Sometimes, it is fine to own the mistake and laugh over it along with your audience. In this way, you can make your audience rest assured that you are true to your brand. You can also put the example in front of them and be true to your brand’s reputation.
8. Take it Offline:
Taking the problem and issue offline should be your last resort. Although you must try your best to resolve the hassle then and there, in a way, showing your empathy to other customers as well, however, if you are unable to get the commenter to move on, it is better to take another step.
Call the person and reach out to offer a better solution. However, one thing that you must keep in mind is all the efforts wouldn’t be worthwhile if the customer isn’t important to your or your brand.Otherwise, it will be of no use. Pacify the commenter as much as you can.
On top of that, there is no one eyeing over your responses here; thus, you can take advantage of your humorous side as much as you wish to. But, make sure that your savage replies don’t turn out to be rude or humiliating for the customer. That would be the last thing that you would want. In the end, request the customer to remove the negative feedback or alter it as per the given response.
Handling customers online is a humongous problem, especially if you have never done that before. Your one mistake can compel them to troll your brand till the very end of their lives. Moreover, the latest trend of memes doesn’t seem to be leaving anyone alone.
So, make sure that just by showing your savage and witty side, you don’t mess upon your responsibility. Take notice of it, own it, and let the customer know that you care.