What to do when a customer posts negative things about you

canstockphoto16637694No matter how hard a business tries to please every customer, it’s inevitable that at some point a customer will be dissatisfied with the product or service they received.

In today’s world of broadcasting our opinions and emotions on social media, it’s common for those unhappy customers to post their dissatisfaction for the world to see. If you are the business owner, negative reviews can really hurt your feelings and your business.  But there are ways to lessen the damage.

DO take a deep breath and step away from your computer.

DO NOT panic and think that your business is ruined. Consumers are pretty savvy today. We’re all used to seeing negative comments and generally take them with a grain of salt.

DO contact the customer (in private) to offer an apology and resolution.

DO NOT go online and mention that a customer said negative things about you in an effort to try to explain the situation or to seek support.

It’s natural to want to vent your frustration, defend yourself and reach out for affirmation on social media. Vent privately to a friend, family member, colleague or trusted customer instead. Otherwise you’re only causing more damage by making more people aware of a complaint they likely never saw in the first place.

It’s sort of like when you scratch a mosquito bite because you think it will make the itch go away and you’ll feel better. Instead, it just spreads the poison and makes it worse. Don’t scratch it! Take the high road and let it be.

DO NOT delete the comment unless it is completely inappropriate or offensive. If you delete the comment, you only will fuel the fire and make it appear that you are not professional or “owning it.”

Customers want to be heard. If you delete a comment they likely will take to social media to complain even more about you, further damaging your reputation.

DO NOT get defensive or try to blame the customer. Even if the customer is fully or partially to blame, you only will make the situation worse if you begin a “he said/she said” campaign.

DO comment on the negative review. Thank the customer for their feedback and offer a genuine apology. Ask the customer to contact you so that you can make it right.

DO ask the customer who posted the negative to remove it themselves or add a comment when and if you resolve the problem with them privately.

DO build your online reputation. Ask your loyal and happy customers to post positive reviews about your business. This will help to offset any negative comments.

DO learn from this. Step back once the dust and emotion has settled and view this as a learning opportunity. What could you have done better and what can you do in the future to reduce the chances of this happening again?

DO remember, this too shall pass, and then let it go, think positive thoughts and get back to business.

Deb Neuman

About Deb Neuman

Deb thinks Maine is a great place to do business and loves telling the stories of Mainers proving that it can be done! An entrepreneur at heart, she enjoys helping others with the same drive to create and innovate!