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How To Handle Negative Press Like a Pro

How To Handle Negative Press Like a Pro

You’ve worked hard to create a strong, credible and undeniably popular brand. Business is booming and you feel like you are on the right track but then… you spot a very, very unhappy customer. Whether it is a review, a comment, a private message, email or something else, how you choose to respond can either give your brand a boost, or become a very big deal!

Speed is Key

First things first, react to complaints quickly. An unhappy customer is only going to be made to feel worse if they are waiting hours, days or weeks for you to respond. Moreover this will increase the likelihood of a customer expressing their displeasure on other platforms and potentially going somewhere else for their needs. React quickly and respond as soon as possible, even if you can only acknowledge the problem at first.

Keep it Professional

As we all know, unhappy customers can say some pretty horrible things. However, their anger comes from something your business has or has not done and so rising to an unhappy customer’s words is an absolute no-go. De-escalation is essential. Maintain a professional, kind and practical attitude and keep your cool. If you have been left a negative comment, always solve the problem with a private conversation and not in the comments section and if you have been left with a negative review, a professional response will not only de-escalate the situation but also show other customers that you are a responsive and perceptive to problems.

Remember, negative comments on social media – particularly those which use abusive language – can be removed from your page. Consider setting up a profanity filter on your Facebook page to automatically block abusive language. 

Offer Solutions, Not Excuses 

When faced with negative press, try to provide simple and direct solutions to a customer’s problems. Unless a customer has legitimately mistaken your business for another or there is absolutely nothing you can do (which does occasionally happen) excuses will only make a client angrier and approaching negativity with excuses can look incredibly unprofessional. Own your mistakes and work with a customer to reach a solution. 

Pass it Up The Chain

When faced with a problem you cannot solve, proactivity is your best friend. Firstly, let a customer know that you are looking for a solution, not only will this buy you time, it will also assure the customer that you are actively looking for a solution. Ask colleagues and managers for advice and don’t be afraid to collaborate with your team to find a solution.

Learn From Our Mistakes

Hindsight is 20:20 and once you have found a solution and you have done all you can to satisfy and pacify a disgruntled customer, you can take steps to ensure that similar problems do not happen again. Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially if your business is very large. However, if possible take this as an opportunity to refine and improve your processes and make improvements.

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