Be ready to be given both positive and negative criticism from consumers. While social networking sites can open your organization to feedback, they also serve as very effective modes for managing customer complaints and can better your brand’s reputation in the process. “If someone has posted negative comments about your organization on one of your social profiles, take proactive steps to address and defuse the situation. Have a social media response plan in place so that anyone managing your profile is empowered to respond promptly and appropriately,”(Start Meeting, 2012). Scheffey discusses 5 must do steps to effectively manage online negativity in social media.
This doesn’t mean with in a few hours but minutes. If you do not monitor you site over the weekend make sure to inform your cliental of this.
Use “I’m sorry” and “thank you”
If you can make sure to thank the customer for their input and comments.
Do not delete the comment
If the comment includes some sort of racism or sexism hide the comment so only you and the customer can see it. The only time deleting is ok is if it is a spammer. Do not delete other comments. Engage with the customers deal with the issue at hand and use your customer service skills. .
Take the conversation offline and contact the parties involved privately
Follow the first three steps (respond promptly, use “I’m sorry” and “thank you”, and do not delete the comment) then if needed you can ask to continue the conversation privately over another medium such as twitter DM or even the phone.
Deflect to a positive discussion
If possible highlight the positive things about the issue.
“While people have the right to voice their complaints, it’s up to you to remedy the situation and turn negative comments into positive opportunities. Since social media is public, your quality customer service will be seen by other users and may influence their purchase decisions”(Sarah Lokitis,2012). By taking the time to address customers needs you can effectively turn most any situation around. It’s time to ask yourself “Are you managing negativity in social media effectively?”