Merrily Orsini's Thought Leadership

Dealing with Negativity on Social Media

As I’ve said before, using social media as one marketing tactic is becoming crucial for businesses of all shapes and sizes. But what happens when someone has something bad to say about your business or agency and does so online? Receiving negative comments on your company’s Facebook page, blog, Twitter feed or Yelp reviews is always uncomfortable. Often, our first reaction to negativity is to try and remove the comment or jump to our own defense, but, because you represent your business as well as your fellow employees, it is important to approach these comments with sensitivity. An eloquent response which addresses the negative feedback will go a long way in upholding your reputation. Definitely do not ignore it. And only remove the negative comment if it is scandalous. Removing a mild negative comment  makes it appear as though you have something to hide.  Following are some negative comments along with suggestions on how to respond:

Negativity regarding your service:
“I hired Agency X for cooking and light housekeeping for my elderly mother and these services were not performed as stated! I advise everyone to stay away from Agency X and try Agency Y instead!”

How to Respond:
Because this negativity relates to your service and caregivers, it is important to address your regret that the customer had a negative experience and offer assistance, but also note that others who have hired your agency have had positive experiences.

Example: “I am so very sorry that you did not feel our services lived up to your expectations. Our clients are very important to us, and I hope you will contact us directly at customer.service@agencyx.com or phone number #X so that we may rectify the situation. We work very hard to make sure we provide top quality care at all times as our clients and their families are so important to us. We can only make it better if you identify yourself and let us see if we can make the situation right.”

Negativity regarding your company:
“Company A has bad business practices. I called their customer service line for help and they were rude and unhelpful. Never doing business with them ever again!”

How to Respond:
This comment is in regards to how your company operates and/or treats its clients. Again, respond with sensitivity that the client experienced rudeness, and let others who may read your response know that your company prides itself on quality customer service. Never, ever be snippy or negative in your responses.

Example: “We apologize that your customer service experience was less than satisfactory in your search for help with Company A. If you let us know a bit more about when this happened we could make certain that it does not happen to anyone else. I can assure you that we will look into this issue and see what we can do so it never happens to anyone ever again.  Company A has always prided itself on delivering the highest quality services while rendering helpful and professional customer service, and we will continue to strive to uphold that value. We appreciate that you took the time to bring this to our attention.”

You may encounter even nastier comments than the kind listed above on Facebook or your blog. If a commenter seeks to just be nasty or uses an employee’s name, or worse, a client’s name, simply remove the comment if possible. If the person continues attempting to post comments of this nature, block him or her from your page or account. In all cases, be professional and never go on the offensive or attack the commenter back. Showing professionalism in your response to negativity speaks volumes about your agency and its values.

Social media and social networking are so very important in today’s marketing. Our professional social networking team will gladly work with you to create a strategy, offer constructive ideas, or even do the work for you. Call or email us today to see how we can assist.