How to Respond to Negative Online Feedback

Do you know how to respond if your business receives negative reviews online? Reputation management is now strongly about how you handle these types of reviews. Indeed, this is what potential customers look at before deciding whether or not to do business with a company.

Key Marketing Channels

First of all, you must understand that social media channels are now your key marketing channel. Around 29% of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) now use at least three different social media channels, and 99% use at least one. These channels enable people to get to know the company, communicate with it, and leave reviews.

Informing Buying Decisions

It is a known fact that social media now helps to influence purchasing behaviors. A recent study showed that, in the United Kingdom, 62% of shoppers look at social media before deciding whether to shop somewhere or not. In 2014, this was just 17%. This makes it clear just how important this channel is.

Feedback and Reviews

Because almost everybody now has a smartphone, it has become easier than ever to review businesses using social media, on the go. You must receive negative social media and respond to it properly, rather than hide from it. Research has shown that 70% of people who leave a complaint want a response, but only 38% receive it. If you do not respond to a negative review, that customer will take to other channels to further attack you, including speaking to their friends directly. Not just that, the research also showed that 78% of people who make a Twitter complaint want an answer within an hour.

The ASOS Example

ASOS received a complaint on their Facebook page in July 2016. Someone purchased an FCUK blazer, sent it back, and did not receive a reply. Hence, the complainer took to social media and turned Eminem and Dido’s hit song “Stan” into a complaint, which was posted on the ASOS Facebook page. ASOS took note of this, and they replied to the complaint by continuing on the Stan theme. They wrote a reply using similar language in a similar style. But mainly, they addressed everything the complainer had raised in his complaint.

It appeared that this was the perfect way to respond to a complaint. Not only did ASOS manage to encourage the complainer to speak to them directly rather than to continue to complain publicly, they also showed their followers that they truly care when someone has an issue. Furthermore, by mirroring the original communication method, ASOS showed that they did not have standard, robotic replies, but rather that real people would come up with real responses. In fact, the response was signed off with the name of the customer service assistant, so that the complainer could contact them directly and speak to someone who understood their situation.

This is an example of how to properly reply to complaints. It does not mean everybody has to get creative with lyrics! Rather, it is about responding in a way that is appropriate to the needs of the audience – and it is about responding in the first place.

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