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Five Ways to Reduce Negative Complaints on Social Media

Negative complaints on social media and review sites could make or break a company's online reputation. The following article gives five easy tips on how to reduce negative feedback online.

What is the one thing a service-based business dislikes the most? Negative customer feedback broad­casted on social media and review sites for the entire cyber world to read.

Unfortunately, there is always that ONE disgruntled customer that you just can’t please – no matter how hard you try. He or she then decides to write a negative review on your company’s Facebook page, Twitter, Yelp or FourSquare. The post could be true or it could be a lie. But the problem isn’t whether the review is true or false. Despite the nature of the post, it’s not JUST negative feedback that is the ‘big deal’. It’s when that post goes unno­ticed that you can run into big trouble with your brand’s reputation.

BUT all is not lost when it comes to preserving and en­hancing your online reputation. In order to maintain a healthy image in the social sphere and keep your brand’s reputation intact, follow these five social media, guest engagement, and custom­er service tips – you will keep (almost) everyone happy…from your staff to customers.

1. Have a Customer Service Policy Plan in Place

Be proactive and address negative customer situations by establishing customer service policies. Make sure employees and managers are on the same page. Communicate on a regular basis with your employees and set a good leadership example. It takes 12 positive service experiences to make up for one negative experience. Make sure that ALL employees un­derstand the importance of delivering great customer service. Your business can’t afford to have a customer walk way unhappy, especially when your team had op­portunities to successfully address and fix the problem.

2. Don’t Ignore Complaints – Not Even the Smallest Ones

When a customer complains, offer ways to make it right with your customers. Do not allow them to step outside the door UNTIL they are happy or you have corrected the error if possible. Sometimes it’s unavoidable and you can’t please everyone…and you will have to let Ms. Angry Customer walk out the door. BUT make every attempt to right the wrong before she walks away and tweets nasty reviews to her 1,000 plus friends.

3. Encourage Guests to Post Their Positive Experiences

Ask your favorite, loyal and happy customers to post their positive experienc­es on social media networks and on review sites. Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience. When you engage loyal customers on social media channels, you create potential brand ambassadors that money can’t buy.

4. Create Loyalty Contests & Give-Aways for Fans

In order to be effective, customer loyalty campaigns do not have to be complex and difficult to execute. Social media contests and give-aways are an easy to say “thanks” and show your appreciation for your loyal customer base. If you reward your customer, they will come back for more… and social media “word of mouth” will spread even faster.

5. Spell Out HR Policies From Day 1

Unfortunately, the most damaging reviews on social media could potentially come from disgruntled former employees. Work with your HR department or legal advisor to make sure you are legally protected from former employees spreading disparaging comments after they leave. Remember to set a good example by NOT spreading gossip or sharing confidential information about your employees. An effective way to protect your company is to conduct employee exit interviews—which allows them to air their grievances (verbally or written) with HR or management before they walk out the door.

At its core, social media is a collection of engagement and marketing tools that, when leveraged effectively, can bring priceless benefits to your organization AND bottom-line. But businesses should first implement poli­cies, practices and develop a proactive culture that helps reduce negative and harmful feedback online.

About the Writer

Ryan Chambers is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Five Ways to Reduce Negative Complaints on Social Media

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By Therese Pope on February 15, 2012 at 10:48 am

A must-read for anyone who works in the service-based industry. Thanks for sharing, Ryan!

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