Learning how to handle negative feedback is a vital aspect of reputation management, and becomes ever more important in industries and sectors where customers pay particularly close attention to the myriad opinion-sharing forums available on the world wide web. Wondering how to navigate some of your less flattering feedback? Give these tactics a try…

Online Feedback

Be Tactful

When you are responding to any piece of negative feedback, keep in mind the crucial importance of a tactful approach. Customers want to feel they are being heard and that their concerns are being listened to. If you employ digital marketing services, your team may be able to respond for you if this is an area you struggle with. If not, pay close attention to any real concerns voiced in your feedback and offer a caring response which doesn’t simply dismiss the reviewer. Outline any steps taken to remedy the problem and invite the reviewer to contact you directly.

Be Constructive

In addition to tact, applying relevant action to your responses when necessary is vital to handling your feedback with tact. Not only will this work to solve the underlying issue and soothe the concerns of your dissatisfied customer, but issuing an empathetic, helpful response helps to alleviate the damage done by the review in the first place. Being constructive shows your company is capable of handling dispute resolution effectively.

Be Calm

Sometimes online reviews can feel like a personal attack, particularly for hardworking business owners who have dedicated much to their company. If you don’t feel able to respond pragmatically, or are concerned about escalating a situation by responding, hold off and think it through. Remember that unfortunately sometimes customers simply feel the need to vent – and it is not necessarily your company’s fault.  Contact digital marketing services experts if you’re unsure how to differentiate between situations which require a response, and those where silence might be a better option.

Be Human

A friendly, human response will fare far better with your audience than a one-size-fits-all approach. Remain prompt in handling your complaints where possible – and speak to your customers as individuals, even if you’re only communicating with them on an online forum. Remember that they could be pointing you in the direction of a legitimate problem with your business, and by alerting you to this, it becomes something you can solve. A negative review in and of itself is not the problem – it is how you deal with it which will define and underpin your reputation in both the long and short term. Drowning out your bad reviews with positive feedback is much simpler if you can prove your customers are valued and their concerns are properly addressed.