Sad as it is, people do tend to be negative. And that’s not an assumption out of thin air—a study by a team from the University of British Columbia has concluded that some people are actually genetically predisposed to view things in a negative light. And if you’re looking for negativity in a variety of shapes and sizes, the Internet is probably the place to be.
An article on Entrepreneur.com (@Entrepreneur) entitled How To Spin a Bad Online Review mentions a 2013 survey conducted by Zendesk, which found that customers are more likely to leave companies a bad review on social media than praise them. Worse, about 88 percent of more than 1,000 American respondents quipped that negative online reviews about a company or business they were considering caused them to veer away.
Dealing with negative reviews and all discussions related to it never cease to get mentioned in reputation marketing news sources like the Marketing Digest (@mktgdigest). As a Forbes (@Forbes) article entitled Handling Haters: How to Respond to Negative Online Reviews recounts, there was even a time when too much bad reviews prompted a certain well-known company to conduct a review of all social media mentions of their brand, as well as every related engagement.
Bottom line is this: no company with an online presence is safe from negative web feedback. There are ways, however, to appropriately deal with “haters” and not make a response sound and feel uncalled-for.
Acknowledge the Mistake and Apologize
This is perhaps the most basic of all popular reputation marketing tips out there. If the complaint is truthful enough, it’s highly recommended for a company to step up and own up to their mistake. It’s normal for people to hate on companies online if they feel like the business is actively trying to dodge the blame or pass it off to another entity.
Think Before You Click
It’s natural to burst right out of the gate and try to defend your business if it gets flak, with the aim of justifying your company and making the consumer realize that he’s wrong—but that should never be the case. Whatever comes, don’t say that the problem is a result of the commenter/reviewer’s fault, even if there’s enough proof. A balanced, non-partisan response is what you should aim for all the time.
According to marketing guru Shama Kabani (@Shama), you can turn the tables on negative feedback by engaging in a constructive way and showing people that your business really cares about them. People know that nobody’s perfect—all they ask is a certain degree of humanity exhibited by a genuine response.
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