One of the biggest tests of resilience for almost any kind of business is how it chooses to deal with negative feedback or criticism from its customers. It may sound cliché, but you simply cannot please everyone.
The problem in this digital age, however, is that people can rant about your product or service online for all the world to see. They can comment on the content you produce on your website, blog, or social media pages—and sometimes just one scathing review of your brand can affect your business significantly. In fact, 94 percent of consumers today are likely to avoid a business after reading a negative review online. This is why it has become increasingly important for brands to be more present and adept at countering bad reviews and comments from customers. Here are a few tips that can help:
The first thing you have to do to set yourself up for successful conversations with your customers is to establish a clear brand identity. Know what you believe in and when to stand your ground, but also identify the areas you’re willing to improve on.
Whenever something negative is said about your brand, it is always better to respond from a place of clarity and awareness. Having a clear brand identity keeps you grounded and in control, which then promotes a culture of meaningful interactions. Content marketing will help you with this, as it makes it possible for you to communicate that brand identity through a unique voice.
According to the 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Survey, 53 percent of customers expect brands to respond to reviews, and are disappointed that most brands choose to ignore negative reviews instead. While this information may put a lot of pressure on your marketing team, it can also serve as a challenge for you to show your agility and responsiveness as a brand.
Oftentimes, agitated customers just want to be heard. While it’s tempting to ignore these complaints especially if there’s nothing more you can possibly do at the moment, sometimes it’s enough to assure them that their sentiment has been heard and considered. Uphold your promise and make sure to update them once a solution has been found.
Responding to negative comments or reviews help increase brand advocacy, and can turn your customers’ not-so-good experiences into opportunities for positive engagement. When you have a dedicated team who can reply and resolve issues quickly and in one transaction (also known as the first-contact resolution), your customers are more likely to come back and repurchase once their complaints have been responded to.
Preparing “canned” or standard responses will help you deal with comments as quickly and as efficiently as possible, but you must also look out for opportunities to be more creative in your answers. Use the standard remark as a template or starting point, and customize your response for each unique comment or review. This way, commenters will feel more valued and heard—which, again is sometimes enough to appease them.
If there is a unique problem that can be mitigated with humor (e.g. a commenter or “troll” does not have a legitimate complaint and is just sparking petty arguments), grab the opportunity to turn the situation around with a witty comeback or a funny remark. Don’t go overboard, though! Keep your replies fun, lighthearted, and appropriate.
Asking questions also help eliminate the appearance of defensiveness and keeps you from responding arrogantly. Just remember to ask to understand (And eventually solve the problem), and not to embarrass or attack your customer.
The truth is, no matter how much work you put into creating the perfect product or providing the best service, some of your customers are likely to find your product or service unsatisfactory. It’s inevitable. But you can always be in control if you know how to respond to your customers the right way.
Again, start by establishing a solid narrative for your brand through content marketing. Find people who can best send your message across—be it publishers, influencers, content writers, or visual artists. Visit the GetCraft Marketplace today to find individually vetted content creators that can help you reach your objectives.