No matter what kind of business you go in, your company will receive negative feedback to something you are doing. As a PR Professional, it is important that you prepare yourself and your company’s position when encountering these negative comments. You might be nervous to hear these criticisms, but it is important that you are aware of what people are saying about your company. By knowing the good and bad, you can take action and plan strategies to improve the image of your company.

1. Acknowledge Complaints

Do not ignore negative comments. This can lead to people growing a bigger disdain for your company. This can also lead customers to take their complaints of your company elsewhere on the web. Respond to the comment and promise to act on the matter or correct the mistake.

2. Don’t Delay

The longer you wait to respond to the negative feedback, the more negative it may become. Other people may see it and the matter could be pushed further down a slippery slope. It is important to be watching your social media sites to respond to negative feedback immediately, and stop the conversation at that.

3. Act Accordingly

Do your best to make the customer happy, whatever route that may take- as long as it is the right thing to do and is beneficial to your business. Address the complaint first to the public in case there are others with the same complaint. If the person continues to press that there is a problem, contact them privately and pursue a solution from there.

4. Share Appreciation for Feedback

The reason you have a social media site is to remain social with your customers. Whether feedback is positive or negative, always tell your customers how much you appreciate their feedback. Take their feedback and constructive criticism. And do something about it! Make sure whoever the problem is about hears of it and finds a solution.

5. Pick Your Battles

It is easier than ever for customers to let you know how they really feel about your company. The anonymity of the web allows people to leave comments that may just be indecent. This person may just want attention. If this is the case, make sure to acknowledge the customers complaint, justify your position and explain your side, and leave it at that.

6. Don’t Debate

As we have seen from the Recent Applebee’s debacle- It is important to not debate with your customers.  You are representing a professional company, so act professional. Click here to read up on that story: http://rlstollar.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/applebees-overnight-social-media-meltdown-a-photo-essay/

4 Comments

  1. Great info!!!!!!!!!!!!   Most negative comments can be easily handled.  For some reason though people seem to like to fight regardless of the cost.   Following the advice here….would solve the headaches companies cost themselves

  2. I think in the world we live in now this is essential. I have noticed good and bad things since I was told to pay attention for one of my classes. One thing that I learned as well was to make sure you reply through the company. Some people who work for the company might respond from their personal twitter or facebook and that looks unprofessional.

  3. The number 1 rule in business – The customer may not always be right, but the company will always be wrong if they communicate that fact!

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