Negative feedback on Twitter is never pleasant, but it doesn’t have to be harmful to your company. If you look at it from a different perspective, an unfavorable review gives you a unique opportunity to show customers what to expect if they ever have a less than stellar experience with your company. How your customer support team handles unhappy buyers demonstrates what your company is made of — and if you play your cards right, how you respond to negative reviews could actually bring you new business.
How you relate to customers matters. Beyond social media, online review websites like Google Reviews, BBB.org, and PissedConsumer.com might serve as the primary source for dissatisfied customers so it’s always recommended to keep your eye across all channels. As research suggests, consumers pay attention to what others are saying about services or products. Recent data revealed that when searching for businesses, shoppers read online reviews for local companies, with 56% of those polled stating they read critiques “occasionally” and “regularly” while 40% of them saying they “always” read the responses.
A recent poll also revealed that 69% of respondents said they would be more inclined to use a business that responded to positive reviews, and a whopping 70% said they would be more likely to consider doing business with a company that interacted with online negative reviews.
With a significant portion of shoppers turning to online reviews found on sites like Yelp, GlassDoor, BBB, or PissedConsumer to help them decide where to spend their money, it is essential to have a plan of action when a negative tweet finds its way into your feed. Below are some best practices on how to handle such feedback.
- Don’t ignore negative comments
- Act fast
- Be nice
- Offer a solution
- Contact the consumer
- Show appreciation
Don’t ignore negative comments
Ignoring comments — especially online negative reviews — is bad for business primarily because it makes you look like you don’t care. Maintaining public relations involves dealing with all types of comments, and acknowledging them is a necessary step in showing customers that their experiences matter.
The sooner customer support can respond to adverse tweets, the quicker they can avoid the impact of online negative reviews. Remember that a customer may have attempted to call customer service several times or shared their complaints on your website or online review website before reaching out on social media networks, and a quick reply can soothe frayed nerves.
Depending on the voice of your brand, there are several different ways to respond to online negative feedback on Twitter. Some companies choose to take a light-hearted approach, while others choose a more tactful method.
Either way, your Twitter support team should avoid sounding generic. A response that demonstrates a genuine interest in the problem will go a long way toward resolving any issues. Address the customer by name, if possible, and acknowledge that you are aware of the details of their problem if you can.
A quick response should never be impulsive. Double-check your tweet for typos and make sure any information you pass along is correct and any promises you make can be fulfilled.
Fast responses don’t mean that you must solve problems immediately, but they do show that you are aware of the situation and do your best to provide a speedy solution.
Take a look at how the following business connected with a customer while they were experiencing technical issues. The matter was resolved within minutes of the customer contacting the company, and the entire exchange made the company’s customer service team look professional and willing to help out.
Be nice to your customers
Along with being timely, a calm, polite reply can go a long way while attempting to fix a problem. Offer an apology, and let the customer know right away that you care about their dilemma.
Authenticity goes along with being nice. When customers see that you are being genuine, they will be more likely to believe that you want to help them.
However you decide to react, always be direct and clear to avoid coming off as aggressive or rude. Don’t argue — even when you are interacting with disrespectful customers.
Offer a solution
With each grievance, a customer is looking for a solution. Part of being prepared for customer complaints also means helping achieve a satisfactory solution. That might look like a discount or free shipping on a future purchase. Both can go a long way when trying to show the customer you regret their negative experience, and you want to make things right.
The following airline offered one customer a refund when their television didn’t work during a flight.
However you attempt to resolve matters, your social media support team should never make promises that your business cannot keep. For obvious reasons, a hasty guarantee to replace items or money can lead to even more dissatisfaction if you cannot follow through.
Contact the consumer
At some point, your Twitter customer support representative will probably need to take things to a more personal level. You can offer to contact the consumer through a direct message, email, or phone call. Either allows you to have a private, one-on-one conversation to resolve the matter.
Consider how a company handled criticism by reaching out to the customer in a timely manner.
How your company’s Twitter support team handles negative online reviews is an important aspect of your business. While dealing with these cases might be somewhat unpleasant, they ultimately provide you with an opportunity to make a lasting impression – and possibly gain a customer for life. Satisfied customers often share positive experiences with customer service on review websites, which can generate more sales.