How To Deal With An Upset Customer Without Damaging Your Online Reputation

RP blog postAn unhappy customer should never be your company’s end goal; hopefully it’s no company’s goal. Unfortunately, an unhappy customer will always exist no matter how hard you try to satisfy them.

When the customer is unhappy, he or she he might want to let others know about the experience they had doing business with you. Some customers can be nice when sharing their experience, even if it wasn’t a good one, but others can be very blunt, and will not keep anything to themselves.

It can be very disappointing for you, as the business owner to see that all these negative comments keep coming from customers that you thought you did a good job when offering them your service. It can be especially frustrating when you start noticing that many of the negative comments have a lot of false statements in them. As the business owner, you have every right to be upset. But, what can you do? You don’t want to respond with an aggressive comment because it will just make you look bad. You can’t ignore the customer because it will make it seem as if you don’t care about the customer’s experience.

So how can you properly respond to an upset customer without damaging your online reputation?

Your online reputation is extremely important, especially now that online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information. It matters how you are responding to your customers and what they are saying about you. A great response tactic can convert an angry and upset customer into a loyal and wild fan.

There are different ways and tips that you could take in order to come up with a good and intelligent response for an unhappy customer.

According to Social Media Examiner, these are some steps you could take:

  1. You can’t respond to conversations you don’t see: A great response comes with great listening. Make sure you are aware of all the different social media sites where your company has a profile. All these different sites could have customers posting their reviews and you need to read them in order to respond.
  2. Determine if it’s worth a response: Not all negative comments deserve a response. Why is that? There are comments where you and other customers can clearly tell that the person commenting is just trying to pick a fight, or just wants to be rude and outrageous. When comments like this happen, you just have to stay out and move on.
  3. Act quickly: Time is not on your side when you are facing negative word of mouth. Respond to the customer as quickly as possible even if you don’t have a solution for his or her problem yet. By getting back to them, you make them realize that you are aware of the issue and it is being worked on.
  4. Speak like a human: A canned- corporate response will make an already upset customer even more upset. That kind of response just makes the customer feel like the company doesn’t care enough about the issue and it is very likely that he or she will not come back for your services.
  5. Offer a real apology or don’t apologize: A real apology rather than a not very sincere one will make the customer feel like you actually care about the situation, and that you are willing to do something about it.
  6. Offer to make it right: Apologizing is great, but actually doing something about the problem and fixing it is what people will remember about your business.
  7. Never get into a fight: If you think you “won” an argument online against an upset customer, then you are wrong. You actually just made it worse. Explain your side of the story & begin a conversation, not an argument.
  8. Keep the discussion in the open: Don’t ask an upset customer to email you or call you instead of commenting on your site. When you do things online and keep it in the open, you earn word of mouth.
  9. Use fans and third-party sources to help tell the story: Many times what others say about you is much more powerful than what you can say about yourself. So, have the happy customers share how that specific product or service you offered them has been working for them.
  10. Involve them in the fix: When you begin to work on an issue that was reported by a customer, make sure that you are keeping them up to date on what is happening with the situation.

Negative comments are tough, especially when they are posted publicly and other potential customers can see them. But the way you decide to handle them without ruining you online reputation… that is all up to you. You will decide what is the best way to answer and if that answer will really benefit the customer and your business.

Don’t let a negative review win you over, but make the best out of it & see it as a way to improve your business.

Let us know in the comments below how you deal with upset customers without damaging your online reputation.

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