So, you’re John Q. Business Owner. You have an awesome business and a really good website. You update your site regularly, you keep a blog and you try and implement the various forms of social media to keep your customers involved and happy. What could go wrong?
With each new customer you attract, there is an increased chance that something will go wrong and someone will be unhappy. And with the increased forms of interaction that exist, there is also a chance someone will post something negative about your company. This is inevitable. The most important thing is how you react to this negative feedback whether it appears on your site, on your Facebook, or on your Twitter. How you interact with your audience can be just as important as your product and it could be argued that responding to negative feedback may be more important that responding to positive feedback (though you should of course respond to both).
It can be tempting to defend your actions, or ignore the feedback altogether, but neither of these are going to earn you any points with current or future clients. The best course of action is to respond, respond quickly, and fix the problem without passing blame. The old adage of, “The customer is always right” continues to ring true.
It can be equally as tempting to delete a negative comment, but this is comparable to hanging up on a customer. If they posted it on your site, or your social media sites, someone has seen it, and deleting it will not make the problem go away. Some companies with the best customer service actually view negative feedback as an opportunity to impress their customers. The business models for companies such as Zappos, Amazon, and Ritz-Carlton, among others, are something to be considered. You should try and view each interaction with a client – positive or negative – as an opportunity to dazzle them.
There are very good articles out there that go into detail about how to deal with feedback. For more information on steps you should take when responding, check out 7 Rules for Responding to Customers Online or HOW TO: Deal With Negative Feedback in Social Media