As a business owner, your business is your baby. Therefore, it’s easy to take it personally when a customer says something negative about your company. It feels kind of like a stranger calling your newborn baby ugly. Don’t overreact to negative opinions by overhauling your business model; you can actually use negative customer feedback to your advantage.
The Internet is one of the primary places where negative feedback is communicated. It’s important to have a web presence for your business with a website, a social media account, a YouTube channel; basically, planting your company’s flag on more corners on the Internet will translate to a bigger web presence, which in turn, will make your business easy to find, especially by people that have something to say. Most of these online resources have a comment or review section that anybody can use to blast their opinions to the world. In the comments section, you will find all types of opinions, like the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Know How to Spot a Troll
Of course, one reason the Internet is so prevalent with negativity is because it’s easy for people to mouth off behind a curtain of anonymity. If you’re using the Internet to get your message out, you will have to be prepared for anonymous attacks. These comments can be found on even the best YouTube videos and blog articles. There will always be someone out there that can find something wrong with anything. Sometimes, people even leave negative comments for the fun of it.
These Internet users are commonly referred to as “trolls.” Trolls don’t care about who they hurt with their comments, they just get a kick out of stirring up controversy and getting people riled up. If a troll leaves a negative comment on your website, and you take it seriously by flipping out and yelling at your staff, then you are doing exactly what the troll wants you to do. Some people just want to watch the world burn. Therefore, your first step in addressing negative feedback is to distinguish genuine feedback from users that are trolling.
What do you do with trolls? It’s easy to spot the work of troll. Their comments are so ugly it’s obvious that they’re trying to get a rise out you. It’s acceptable to take administrative action and delete and block trolls from your forums because not all of your customers will understand that you’re being trolled. If you don’t stay on top of these posts and eradicate the trolls, then they can do damage by causing market confusion.
How to Respond to Genuine Complaints
Not every negative comment comes from a troll. Most negative comments left on your website will be genuine. Even though you have the power to delete these genuinely negative comments, its best practice to leave them up. The reason for this is because the person that left the negative comment is trying to get their point across, and if you snuff out their voice on your website, then like a wildfire, they will react by spreading their negativity to other websites you have no control over.
When you see a negative comment show up on your website, you will want to take immediate action and perform damage control. By responding to criticism quickly and professionally, you are able to control the situation. In today’s digital environment, people that leave genuine negative feedback on websites actually expect this kind of response. In a recent survey, 83% of Twitter users and 71% of Facebook users expect a customer service response within 24 hours of making a comment.
Responding quickly and professionally to negative feedback can work to your advantage because your professionalism and customer service will be on display. Additionally, you will have the final say on the matter and be able to set the record straight for all the negative situations that stem from misunderstandings, and be apologetic if you are at fault. By responding correctly to negative feedback, you can actually take the negative comments and use the interaction to help define your brand. This works similarly to the old adage, “There’s no such thing as bad press.”
In conclusion, don’t get stressed when you see a negative comment on your website. Instead, be flattered that people care enough about your product or service to take the time to leave feedback. How have you handled negative feedback on your website? Tell us your story by leaving feedback in the comments below!