If you have a website, you have an online reputation. If you have an online reputation, do what you can to make sure it’s positive.
Having a positive online reputation doesn’t mean everyone loving everything you do, especially if you’re blogging. Just like on the playground, there will be people that love you and people that don’t love you. Never the less, it’s important to remain professional and approachable when maintaining your reputation.
Handle Disagreements With Grace
This is typical for hospitality and ecommerce businesses. Both situations involve almost immediate transactions and in many cases, if the customer isn’t happy they’ll spread the word. It can be hard when you read negative tweets or reviews about your business based on a transaction gone badly, but it’s important to handle the situation professionally.
When The Bad Gets Ugly
Resist the urge to fight back; it will only make things worse. Reading a bad review can cause temporary blackout rage but it is so important to take the high road. Remain calm. Don’t respond in anger, but do respond. Ignoring negative feedback can make you seem aloof or like you don’t take customer satisfaction seriously.
When responding, take your ego out of the equation. Most likely, the negative feedback was not a personal attack on you. Even if the customer is using fighting words, try to remain professional and do one of two things:
- Respond to the customer with a brief statement explaining how you’d like to help them and they can contact you directly (provide your email address or phone number).
- Respond to the customer and publically explain how you’d like to remedy the situation. If you’re a restaurant owner, invite the customer to come back and try a specific dish. If you’re a shop owner (online or otherwise) offer them a specific redemption on the product they aren’t happy with or a coupon to return to the store.
When a customer isn’t happy, it’s never a pretty situation. Because social media is SO PREVELANT in our lives, everyone with a smart phone can publish content. Don’t make damage control a stressful situation – don’t make it a situation at all. Have a system in place in case anything does go wrong to avoid panic and angry responses.