7 Ways To Deal with Negative Customer Feedback

March 8, 2012
Social Media Manager

mad? Nah!

You can’t control what your customers might say about your business – that’s a fact!

And it’s one of the reasons why a lot businesses are holding back from social media.

They’re quite hesitant on getting their business out there because they are afraid of getting negative feedback.

What these people don’t know is that in every negative feedback they get – there’s an opportunity for them to increase their engagement with their customer.

You see, in every single rant, there are potentially hundreds of people “quietly” complaining about the same thing with their friends. And if you are there to respond to them and give them solution on their problem, you’ve just made them feel you’re listening and that you care.

Not only that, you’ve also given those “quiet people” a hint that you’re a human that they can talk to.

So, how do you respond to negative customers ranting on social media?

  1. Respond in a timely manner. Try to respond as quickly as you can. Leaving a complain unanswered is like telling everyone that you don’t care.
  2. Apologize up front. Whether your customer is complaining over something silly, you better off taking the “customer is always right” approach.
  3. Have someone read your response first before you post it. There are times that you may think that you’re being polite, but it may be perceived differently by someone else – believe me, it happened to me a few times before.
  4. Respond publicly first, then try to take the conversation privately. Send them a private message and explain to them that you want to discuss the matter in a way that offers them better experience.
  5. Show your appreciation for their feedback. Let them know you appreciate their feedbacks and that you’ll consider their suggestions for improvement.
  6. Ask them how you can make the situation better – believe me they will appreciate it.
  7. Acknowledge and validate the feedback. Sometimes, there are people who just want to stir up some controversy. Whether its true or not, you must look at it as an opportunity.

There you have it! In what other ways do you deal with negative rants online? I’d love to hear your tips on the comment box below.

Valerie Deveza

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Hi there! My name is Val. I'm a seasoned social media manager who is passionate about helping small business owners optimize their marketing efforts through detailed analysis.

17 responses to 7 Ways To Deal with Negative Customer Feedback

  1. So this is your new site…looks very nice!

  2. Hi buddy! I agree with you that your written reply may be perceived differently by other people. Happens in email, happens in text. With body language and intonation taken out of the picture, text can be really misinterpreted by the reader.

  3. I’ve been utilizing Point #3 lately… yes even simple message submitted through Facebook, is sometimes rationalized and misunderstood by some great and insane minds. You’ll never how safe “The message” or how far will it get sensationalized. Blogger to blogger in Philippine blogosphere is getting the hype of it. And damn, when careers are at stake, same as with business per se, we have to be extra careful.

    • Yeah.. they need to be really careful with what they say online.. Employers are now checking their employees profiles or at least they are alerted when someone is talking about them.. (Thanks to Google Alerts :P)

  4. You definitely need patience and preservation of composure. Losing your temper will only ruin everything. But then again, it will be a different story when you get violated verbally or in writing. Those 7 items up there are must keeps of course.

  5. I agree. I just hope all businessmen accepts criticisms and complaints positively. And all customers do it in a respectful manner.

  6. Responding to a negative customer feedback is one of the hardest thing to do especially if you do not know how to control your feelings and got easily irritated. I once experienced this but I took it as my inspiration. Anyway, i’ll remember these tips.

  7. It’s true, one does not see the expression and all in writing and could be interpreted differently. Thanks for pointing those 7 ways…it would helps to be patient too in such situations.

  8. The best thing to do is take a deep breath and look into the bright side. I always did that and it really works well for me :D

  9. Hey Val! Great post on dealing with negative feedback. You are right, businesses should be falling all over themselves to right wrongs in their customers eyes. Any opportunity to engage your customers and take on problems head on is something that shouldn’t be missed!

  10. Would you rather have negative feedback or no feedback at all?

    • I can’t please everyone and there will always be someone out there who will be unsatisfied with my services.

      No feedback at all doesn’t mean no one is unsatisfied with my services. They might be “quietly’ complaining to their friends.

      I’d rather get a negative feedback and work my way to improve my services.

      Again, in every negative feedback we get there’s an opportunity for us to convert them to a happy client. Its just a matter of how you will deal with them.:)