Being on Facebook has undeniable benefits if you’re building credibility for your service business. It’s also an effective avenue where you can engage and connect with your audience in ways that wouldn’t be so impacting if done offline. However, since this is an era where consumers are free to express their opinion and say what they feel, you would be well advised to prepare yourself for how to tackle negative feedback if this were to arise at any time.
Given the choice, of course you’d rather not receive any negative reviews for your business on social media, least of all Facebook. Nowadays, an online reputation is a very important element for businesses as consumers now heavily rely on user experience when choosing which brands or products to trust.
However, no business is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes even with the best intentions. If you receive a negative review on Facebook, for whatever reason, empower yourself to know how to handle it professionally and proactively.
Here are some practical tips to consider when handling negative reviews on Facebook:
Acknowledge the customer’s concern
Upset clients often only want one thing, and that’s to know they’re being heard. You can communicate better with the customer if you’re both on the same level, which means taking the time to acknowledge and address the issue at hand. Was it something about the service they received or how it was delivered? Was there a problem with your communications or did they encounter a problem that meant you were not able to respond to them?
The key is to understand the root of the problem. If there was a problem with the service they received, it might involve checking in with the technician who carried it out for them and assessing if there is a training issue.
If there was a problem with your internal process, can you address this so it doesn’t happen again? Do any of your services or systems need an upgrade? Consider using field service industry software like Jobber to streamline your operations and make you internally more organized and professional.
As a service business, it’s your role to ensure your customers are satisfied with their overall experience with the company. Take advantage of online tools and software that can simplify your workflow, to enable you to do this for them.
Respond right away
Another thing that might irritate customers even more than they might already be, is a lack of promptness in responding to a concern. Doing so will make the client feel you don’t care about them and are not taking their concern seriously. If they feel that you are not eager to resolve the matter right away, they might feel they need to go elsewhere and tell more people about the poor experience they had with you.
The key point here is that the moment you see a negative FB review posted or tagged on your account, communicate with the customer as soon as you can.
Aside from giving the impression that you’re always proactive to respond and help, you’ll also have the opportunity to rectify the issue before it gets out of hand. You don’t want a negative review going viral on Facebook before you even know it’s happened. Other people will be interested to see how you handle the complaint and if done well, may even earn you greater trust and respect than had the review been positive in the first place.
Reach out privately
Although you may need to issue a public apology at some point, it’s best to communicate or negotiate with the customer privately instead of doing it on social media. Ask if they can provide you with a contact number you can call. If they prefer to be contacted via email or through direct messages on Facebook, that can work, too. However, remember that it’s now easy to take a screenshot of a conversation online, so always be mindful when exchanging messages with customers.
Be polite and professional when replying or contacting them. Remember the proper etiquette of sending emails, making a business call, or answering direct messages.
Always resolve any issue
An unhappy customer leaves a negative review because they want you to do something about it.
Give the client several options to let them know you highly consider their feelings. You can ask if they want a replacement or a refund of the product or service they availed, if that seems appropriate. If the negotiation comes to an amicable agreement, in the end, don’t forget to offer the customer discounts for their next purchase. That way, you won’t have to lose them, and you can finally put the issue to rest.
Receiving negative reviews is part of running a business, no matter what kind it may be. Although it’s not a pleasant experience, dwelling on it too much can only do more harm than good. Instead, master how to handle this kind of feedback, acknowledge it and use it to make improvements to the running of your business. This way, rather than being upset the next time it happens, take it as a complement that someone bothered to tell you what went wrong and use it to your advantage.