How to Deal with Negative Comments About Your Company

August 18th, 2011
How to Deal with Negative Comments About Your Company
It really is an inevitability: At some point in the life of your business there is bound to be someone who has a bad thing or two to say about your company. Even if you always do everything right, someone isn’t going to like you, and they’ll be determined to tell the world about it.
More often than not, the first place people go when they have something negative to say about a company these days is Twitter. Of course, they do this because all of their friends are on Twitter, but they also do this because they know your company is most likely on Twitter too!
Twitter (and social media at a higher level) have become the main medium for expressing dissatisfaction with a company or brand. So you need to be prepared to deal with the negative posts when they start showing up. Here are a couple of ideas for how to do that:
Address the issue in private, and ask the poster to remove the negative post.
Finding a way to address a customer’s complaint via the medium he or she used to express that complaint can do a lot to solve negative feedback. Doing this says “We’re paying attention to you and your criticism and will meet you where you are to resolve this for you.”
Once you’ve resolved the issue, it may be appropriate to ask the person to remove the negative post. This should only be done when you perceive the original post to contain factual inaccuracies or exaggerations about your business. The idea is not to erase the incident from existence, but to ensure the truth is being told about your brand. If someone says “I came to XY Restaurant yesterday and my sandwich was horrible”, you should leave it be.
In situations like the one above where it is not appropriate to ask someone to remove a negative post, you should encourage him or her to create a second post, highlighting the positive outcome and how you addressed their complaint. In the above scenario it may be “Big thanks to XY Restaurant for contacting me and giving me 2 free lunches in the future, in order to make it up to me!”
Many times addressing the issue directly can turn a negative into an eve bigger positive!
Provide an alternative location for customers to voice complaints.
It never hurts to attempt to prevent a negative comment from being posted about your brand in the first place. Create a page on your site, and link to it from your social media profiles, that is dedicated to accepting critiques and feedback from your customers.
Many times this will be enough to encourage the customer to communicate via this direct channel as opposed to a public social media post.
Of course, once you receive the negative feedback via this page/form, make sure to address it! Customer service is still important to your customers and your business, so don’t neglect it!
One thing to never do: Get into a public argument.
The last thing you want as a brand is have your audience become polarized by a public battle with a disgruntled customer. Avoid confrontation in public like (insert scary disease here)! No one wants to see that in their social media feed and it won’t turn out good for you, no matter what!
Negative critiques of your business will eventually happen. It’s important to keep an eye on what’s being said about your brand and stay proactive! Stay on top social media platforms and communities and remember: Your reputation exists whether you choose to control it or not!

by Daniel Hadaway

It really is an inevitability: At some point in the life of your business there is bound to be someone who has a bad thing or two to say about your company. Even if you always do everything right, someone isn’t going to like you, and they’ll be determined to tell the world about it.

More often than not, the first place people go when they have something negative to say about a company these days is Twitter. Of course, they do this because all of their friends are on Twitter, but they also do this because they know your company is most likely on Twitter too!

Twitter (and social media at a higher level) have become the main medium for expressing dissatisfaction with a company or brand. So you need to be prepared to deal with the negative posts when they start showing up. Here are a couple of ideas for how to do that:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Online Reputation, PR, SEO, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Is Google Harming Your Brand?

January 25th, 2011

(Note: This article references “scam”-related suggestions in Google, but really could be about any negative-keyword or term that Google may be suggesting about your brand.)

While most companies would love to show up higher in search-engines, can you imagine a situation where showing up first on Google is a bad thing?

This blog has an interesting article about a client that had this exact issue. Google was suggesting the company’s brand name + the word ‘scam’ in their suggested results.

How would you feel about a company if when you typed in their name, the word ‘scam’ was added to the brand name and suggested by Google?

While this function of Google is certainly useful for finding companies that truly ARE scams (and avoiding them), what happens when Google gets it wrong? Or more importantly: why is Google getting it wrong in the first place? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Content, PR, SEO | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »