Here’s the situation: you check your Facebook wall and find over a 100 negative comments about your business. What do you do?
Handling this situation can be a delicate matter. If you delete the posts on your wall, fans will assume you have something to hide. But if you leave the post as is, this negativity could grow and even faster—infecting your healthy, good natured fans.
The following are three steps to handling this kind of negative feedback on Facebook.
Step # 1 Identify who will respond to negative feedback
Responding to negative feedback is an art, not a chore. Make sure the person do the responding is up to the task and is able to take the heat. Naturally, whoever responds to the negative feedback will absorb brunt of the fan’s rage. Be sure that the person you choose understands this, and doesn’t take things too personally.
Step # 2 Identify the type of feedback
Negative feedback comes in a few different flavors.
Straight forward problems: someone has an issue with your product or service. Maybe their product broke or a representative made a mistake.
Constructive Criticism: someone gives you tips on how to improve your service. Usually sent by only the most loyal fans.
Merited Attack: your company, not an individual representative, definitely wronged a fan. Now that fan is irate.
Spam: Competitors or random businesses launch an attack to promote their own business.
Once you’ve identified the type of feedback, you can start to address the concerns.
Step # 3 Respond based on the type of feedback
Once you’ve identified the type of feedback and who will respond to said feedback, it’s finally time to respond. Straight forward problems deserve straight forward responses. Remember, you’re entire fan base is watching how you handle these questions. Be helpful, even if it’s recommending another service. Doing so will give your company more credibility.
Constructive criticism should be celebrated. Thank them for their comment, and feature your response to that comment in a blog post or somewhere prominently on your page. Remember, the ones who give constructive criticism tend to be your most loyal fans. If they’ve discovered these issues, then others have discovered them already. Post your response in a public arena for all to see.
Merited Attacks are a bit trickier to handle. If a fan is just ranting, it’s best to take the conversation offline. Tell them that their concern is important to them, and invite them to send you an email for more detail. If they continue to rant without responding to your messages, then treat the post like it’s Spam—and report them as Spam to Facebook. Let’s be clear, never just delete a post. Just deleting the post allows the commenter to comment again. If you label them as spam, however, they will not be able to comment on your page.
Step # 4 Follow up
After giving your response to negative feedback—particularly if it’s in a public place—make sure you follow up. It gives the impression that the complaint was an isolated incident, and, most importantly, that your company is doing everything in its power to ensure that this never happens again.
What’s the craziest negative feedback that you’ve ever received? And how did you handle it? Are there any other tips you’d give? Let us know in the comments section.