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Managing Online Hate For Your Business

Managing Online Hate For Your Business

No matter how hard you try, not everyone will like your business all of the time, and you are bound to get some negative attention online at some point.  Whether it’s a negative review, hate comments on your posts, or customers angry about misinformation, you will want to manage this negative attention quickly and efficiently so it doesn’t hurt your brand too much. Here are a few ways to manage the hate your brand can receive online and potentially turn it around.

Get Ahead Of It 

First and foremost, you want to set yourself up for success.  Negative attention online can stem from things like having a confusing website, or having your hours incorrectly listed. Avoid preventable negative reviews by making sure your information is up-to-date and your systems are working at all times.  You don’t want to receive negative attention for small things that could have been avoidable if you had been more diligent.

Respond Promptly To Negative Reviews 

Despite your best efforts, your business is bound to receive at least a handful of negative reviews.  It will be very helpful for you to respond to these negative comments as quickly as possible.  Acknowledge the author’s concerns, offer an explanation if there is one, and be prompt in doing so.  Whether you are able to fix the issue right away or not, people’s impression of your brand will be better if they hear back from you regarding their concerns in a timely manner.  And often, this can even lead the reviewer to change their review to be more positive!

Offer Discounts For Bad Experiences

Mistakes happen, from messing up a customers’ food order to shipping the wrong piece of clothing.  When these cases do arise, you can’t do anything to change what has happened.  You can, however, try to make up for it.  Especially in cases where it was a one-time error or mistake that led to a bad review, you should offer the unhappy customer a discount or gift card.  This can serve as an apology for the mistake, and encourage them to visit again so you can provide a better experience. 

Ask For More Info and Listen To Unhappy Customers 

It is human nature to want to feel heard and valued.  This is true for the relationship between customers and a business as well.  If someone does express a complaint, issue, or concern online, you want to be sure they know you are aware.  Asking follow-up questions and showing that you do care about your customers’ experiences can help sway you back into their favor. Plus, it is helpful to your business to gather as much information as possible from unhappy customers, so you can improve for the future.

Update Customers When You’ve Fixed An Issue  

Finally, after you’ve acknowledged and addressed negativity aimed at your brand online, you want to keep people in the loop about how you are moving forward as well.  For instance, if your website was experiencing glitches and a customer complained, be sure to circle back and let them know when it has been fixed. If there was an issue in your production line that led to faulty products, be sure to let people know when the problem has been solved.  Not only does this make people feel good, because they know you took action based on their complaints, but it can also lead them to re-purchase from your business now that things have been straightened out.

All in all, with the 5 techniques above, you can make sure that negative attention online is not the downfall of your business.  These methods can help you minimize the fallout, and even turn negative reviews into positive ones in some cases. Not everyone is going to like your brand, but there are definitely things you can do to minimize the hate.

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