Tips For Handling Customers Who Get Mean On Social Media

Some quick tips on keeping your cool on social media

No doubt you’ve seen examples of disaffected customers and business owners going at one another tooth and nail online. If you haven’t here’s a perfect example of how to damage your own reputation! Having the haters come after you is no picnic, but destroying your or your brand’s reputation because of your response is a bit like a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Totally unwarranted.

Sometimes they have a point, in some cases they’re as wrong as wrong can be, yet your response ought to be consistent. It serves you not at all to take part in a flame war, or in any manner respond in the negative. Instead, make use of these tips to help limit the damage to your brand!

  • Don’t delay in responding – This is huge. Don’t wait till you’ve put together the perfect response. Dive in, and show the world that you care enough to get right on it! Responses that are delayed for days or (God forbid!) weeks show the world a completely different picture: one of indifference, incompetence and stupidity.
  • Never, never, NEVER reply in kind! – No matter what you do, don’t get into it with them! You will not win, even if you’re dead right. It will cast you as the evil business owner and it will grow like a wildfire right before your eyes. Don’t be that guy!
  • Go offline if at all possible – Attempt to respond once, then take the conversation to email, IM or phone.
  • If you’re too fiery to do this, staff it out! – If you’ve got the type of personality that loves to mix it up with your critics, then you’d be smart to assign this task to someone on staff who is a bit more demure.
  • Don’t delete negative comments – At least in the beginning. If you determine later, that it is unfounded, and you’ve responded to the initial complaint well, then perhaps. Each case is different. Instead, your handling of the matter should elicit enough positive response to drive the comment down or out of view.
  • Personalize it – Always respond with your name, no matter who on your staff is dealing with the customer. Also insist on using their name. (Not your version of it!) It will help in making the engagement more personable and less threatening.

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