Having your company bad-mouth by a customer online can turn into a PR nightmare. It is for this main reason that it is important to monitor what people say about you. Moreover, you should also know how to respond to negative feedbacks accordingly. Take these suggestions into consideration:
Know Your Business’ Weakness
Negative raps are often caused by exposed-company weaknesses amplified through various media. Knowing your business’ defects lets you anticipate what needs fixing. Therefore, preventing customer resentment goes haywire.
Control Internal and External Communications
Defamatory remarks inside and outside of your business must be avoided. Exclude damning contents in your company’s blog or website and even in internal emails. Prevent any employees from addressing a customer in a disrespectful tone, especially when attending to customer-related concerns online.
Check Online Conversations About Your Company
If you do not have that much of resources, you can identify the key influencers in your industry. They could be other experts from your field, online magazines or bloggers. If you can afford it, you can also keep an eye on people outside of your industry and see what they say about you. Additionally, you can hire companies who specialize in online reputation management.
Gather the Facts and React Accordingly
When you see negative remarks about the company, determine who made the comment and check if it is true. See also if other people are talking about the issue and how fast it is spreading. If the situation is turning into a firestorm, control the conversation by counteracting through your website or opening a forum about the topic. The speed and nature of your response should reflect to the degree of the problem.
Strategize Your Response
Over-responding to customers’ complaints positively is better than doing it negatively or not doing it at all. However, handling your company’s reputation crises has two ways:
When it comes to valid statements, offer genuine apology, tell the customers your exact plan of eradicating their animosity. Re-establish customer trust and convince them to continuously do business with you. On the other hand, deal with false account by asking for a retraction and providing the accurate information. When publishers are being uncooperative, get your message out through your own blog, and seek legal advice.
When responding to criticism, it is okay to be defensive but do not be emotional. You should not let your emotions overwhelm your reasoning. Deal with the situation efficiently and professionally. Gather all the facts and apologize; don’t be arrogant. Avoid unnecessary litigation threats and negative PR campaigns against the commenter.
What people say about your company online can produce an intense backlash. With that, it is your responsibility to learn what people are saying about your brand and respond accordingly if needed, so as to maintain your image in high standing.