SITH HAPPENS: HOW TO RESPOND TO NEGATIVE REVIEWS LIKE A JEDI


By: Maggie Burke

When you plug your brand into the social media pipeline, you’re opening the floor to consumers everywhere to communicate their experiences, good or bad.

Once in a while, you’ll have audiences log on to your channels to provide much deserved (and appreciated!) praise about their overall satisfaction with your product or service. Sadly, you may also run into some not-so-happy consumers.

This is not the time to unleash your lightsaber and fight back. Rather, it's time to take a page out of the Jedi Code and remind yourself, “there is no chaos, there is harmony.”

Here are five ways to ensure great community management when sith happens.

1.)    HESITATE YOU SHALL NOT

The longer you let a bad review sit on your social channels for other consumers to read without taking action, the worse it looks. When handling community management on your social channels, it is absolutely vital to respond in a timely manner. Handling the review within the first few hours of its posting is preferred.


2.)    READ YOU SHALL

One way to frustrate an already irritated consumer is to copy and paste a generic apology for their poor experience that you’ve already sent to other customers. Take the time to actually read what happened during their ordeal, because they reached out and took the time to actually tell you. You can’t right a wrong if you’re not investing sincere community management into your social media channels. Which brings us to the next step...


3.)    APOLOGIZE YOU MUST

Apologize, and be genuine about it! Address exactly what they included in their review. Far too often, a strong community management plan has not been included in a brand’s social media plan, and it shows. Letting any employee log on to respond could result in knee-jerk reactions to criticism: poor choice of words, a bad attitude and no trace of an apology. And do you know what is worse? Sometimes these responses go viral, leading to a horrible customer-service reputation that might last forever. 


4.)    SOLUTION YOU'LL HAVE

After you apologize for the poor experience, it's important to then offer an immediate solution. This ensures your audience that you’ve followed the first three steps and actually want to correct their problem and ease their frustration. Imagine walking into a department store with a customer service complaint and the man or woman behind the counter just kept offering you an apology with no real result. 


5.)    SIGN YOU WILL

To top off your already perfected community management plan, make sure to have whoever is responding sign off with their signature at the bottom of the reply. This can include their name, personal email address and a phone number at which to reach them. This proves to your customer that you’re serious about hearing them out and turning them over from the dark side. 


The best way to keep others informed on the importance of great community management is to spread the word! Share this article on your networks to educate your audiences on handling negative reviews.