We’ve all seen it: A Facebook page that is pocked with complaints from customers or former employees about the quality of a service or product. Generally online reputation management is easier to tackle when your brand is proactive about addressing these situations head on. Here’s how to combat issues when they arise:
1. Answer questions. Show your appreciation to your fans by responding to their inquiries. This will not only help this particular customer, but may help others that are perusing your page for similar information. If the answer is in-depth or complex, direct them to a page on your website where the information can be obtained. If it is a simple answer, simply type it out and tag them in your comment so they are notified.
2. Take it offline. If a customer is particularly upset, using inflammatory language or getting other customers involved in the conversation, offer an offline solution like a phone number so that they may air their complaints without other people seeing it.
3. Be honest. If your brand makes a faux pas, apologize publicly to your fans. Ignoring the issue often makes it bigger, adding fuel to the fire. Be truthful but concise. There is no need to re-hash what happened.
4. Follow up. If you are able to obtain the customer’s information, follow up via email or with a phone call to make sure their problem was addressed or documented. People genuinely appreciate this and will sometimes even come back to your Facebook page to thank you.
5. Turn every negative comment into an opportunity. Social media is often a place where customers air their grievances about brands. It is easy, however, to change the conversation. Simply ask what you can do to help and if it is plausible to do so, offer a refund or some kind of consolation. If you keep the conversation positive, people will usually respond in kind.
If the customer refuses to take it offline and continues to publicly defame the company, only then should you delete their comments or block them. Take caution with this action as many other customers may find this offensive. It is important to be diplomatic, but if the problem is not resolved with the above advice, it may be necessary to remove that person from your brand page.
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