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5 Tips To Build Customer Loyalty From A Negative Comment

5 tips to build customer loyalty from a negative comment

Negative comments are inevitable. Today’s customers are going to social networks for customer support. Negative comments aren’t anything to be afraid of. In fact, they are an opportunity.

The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference

We like to think of a negative comment as a compliment. Your brand has arrived to the party. Think about it. The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference, right?

People who have a bad experience and never want to use your product or service again will usually silently walk away. A negative comment often signifies that the customer wants help from the brand itself. They care enough to find your page and address their problem with you directly. Most people who complain still want to love your brand.

A negative comment is an opportunity to generate loyalty. (Read that twice. It’s true.)

So you’ve received the dreaded negative comment. Now what?

1) Respond

Don’t ignore negative comments and don’t delete them. A negative comment is an opportunity to share your corporate messaging to resolve a problem. (Please do so in a conversational and human way.)

If the negative comment addresses something you think other customers experience, respond publicly. If the negative comment touches upon any sensitivity, reply publicly to take the conversation offline. Always respond within 24 hours, even if only to say you are working on their issue and will be in touch shortly.

2) Say thank you

It’s amazing how far a simple thank you can go. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. Thank you for coming to us so we can help you. Thank you for your input; you raise a good issue.

3) Own up to your part

If the negative comment is a reflection of an error made by your brand, own up to your error and apologize. It is remarkable how many customer grievances are resolved with a simple apology. It sounds basic, but do not lie, and do not point fingers. Brand fans and the media always see through lies.

4) Provide solutions

Some people leave negative comments because they are looking for assistance with a specific problem. Apologize, and help the customer resolve their issue. This one-on-one assistance makes them feel important to the brand, and they are happy when their issue is resolved.

5) Recognize fans

We know it seems crazy to recognize people who have complained about your brand, but there are occasions to do so. Examples:

  • If someone who leaves a negative comment receives a solution, and tells their Twitter following or writes a blog about it, thank them. Consider sharing their post.
  • If a negative comment leads to a change or improvement in a product or service offering, thank that fan.
  • If a previously angry fan sees a negative comment and steps in to provide your solution, thank them.

What tips do you have for handling negative comments? Tweet us @BRGLiving and let us know!