Liking the wrong posts, contentious customers, leaked emails, trolls – any business is in real danger of online backlash and its increasingly dire consequences.
Fortunately, when it does happen, it doesn’t automatically mean all is lost as there are plenty of guidelines for going through such a situation as a business. Here are 3 such tips.
Swift Crisis Communication
Rapid responses cannot be overstated post-backlash because you want to regain trust and showing that you’re open to conversation is how to get there.
Thus, you want a crisis management communication team, whether that means hiring a public relations firm or putting together your own team. Then, agree on pre-approved responses because you want consistency in messaging.
Then, actively keep tabs on relevant communication channels – social media, review sites, forums – so that you’re not late to respond and show just how much you’re committed to resolution.
For example, say there’s backlash because of a product recall. The Crisis Communication Team writes and posts an apology quickly, acknowledging the issue plus a detailed plan of action explaining why and how the problem won’t happen again.
Receptive Damage Control
Active listening works for all relationships, including the one between business and consumer. People believing that you’re listening is one of the key ways to gain or regain credibility.
So, you want to use monitoring tools to track customer feedback or opinions and be intentional about addressing specific concerns. More and more consumers see through bots replying to their genuine concerns and it’s a step in the wrong direction in the aftermath of backlash.
For example, to get ahead of negative reviews following a service outage, a company actively engages dissatisfied customers on social media, responding with personalized messages without a single hollow or generic answer. They take the time to explain, even offering compensation to severely affected consumers.
Positive Reinforcement Campaign
After online backlash, you want to be very intentional about shifting the narrative towards the positive if there’s to be a chance of rebuilding a positive brand image; redirecting public perception.
Mainly, you want to constantly highlight the strengths of your products or services to counterbalance negative narratives either by yourself or in collaboration with people who are satisfied with your business. It’s a good idea to create marketing campaigns around this – heavy on the good – such as customer testimonials, or ongoing upgrades for your social media, email newsletters, official website, etc.
In fact, why not use brand advocates contracted to encourage and amplify positive content? Just keep in mind that it’s critical to only work with people with a good brand reputation themselves, compatible with your own brand values.
Online backlash is difficult for almost everyone who experiences it and for businesses, it’s a particularly alarming thing. These tips are a step in the right direction after your business suffers online backlash.