One of the basic rules of business is “Make the customer happy.” Companies know that a negative comment from one customer can quickly turn into ten.
The basic rules of business have not changed, but the power of the customers voice has grown exponentially. One negative comment can instantly turn into hundreds of shares and tweets, which can fuel blog posts and the need for large-scale damage control. While there is no way to guarantee that every single customer will be happy, there are many tools that can help you manage your brand’s reputation online. Whether it’s a comment about your company, or personal brand, there is a chance to turn a negative comment into a positive opportunity.
Monitoring Your Brand
How are you supposed to turn a negative into a positive if your never see or hear it. It is important to catch negative comments at the source before they spread out of control.
Several tools are available to track mentions of your brand. A free and very simple tool is Google Alerts. You can set up for alerts to be sent to you each time a new search result appears regarding your brand. Each day Google will email you mentions of your brand on news sites, blogs, video platforms, discussion books, and online books. If you really want to stay on ahead of the game, you can even set up alerts for mentions of your competitors.
Monitoring mentions on social media platforms requires more effort. Check comments and posts on your company Facebook page. Do a Facebook search every few weeks for your company name to check for any new groups with a negative connotation and groups’ whose membership has increased greatly. The same can be done with Twitter searches. Twitter search should be done on more frequently, a quick daily search for any brand mentions and a more intensive search once a week.
Responding to Negative Comments
You cannot respond to all comments, and users’ response expectations vary by platform. Facebook users are more likely to expect a response than Twitter users, because the comments and posts stay visible on a company page for a longer period. Twitter is a real-time feed, so users do not expect a response to every comment. A response from a company to a customers tweet is often seen as more “special” than Facebook responses, though both are very important.
If a negative comment is found during monitoring, it should be responded to in no more than 24 hours, less is always better. Responses should be honest, strong, empathic (but not too much and not emotional), friendly, and involve an actionable item, such as “Thank you for your feedback, please email us your phone number and our team will make sure to personally call you to resolve any concerns”. Above all, do not delete negative comments or mentions; this can turn a quick fix into a full-blown tornado of negativity.