If you are actively using social media to build your brand and business, at some point someone will probably post something negative about you or your company.
Here are 5 things you can do to minimize the impact and show you truly do care about your customers.
1. Set up a Goggle alert. This is a free service. Enter the keywords relevant to you and your brand. It's better to be very specific or your inbox will get flooded with alerts! For example, if I used social media, Facebook, speaker on social media, etc, my computer would probably be smoking! There are millions of posts, articles, etc., about this top. If instead I chose "Sue Henry Talks", "Social Media in 15 Minutes a Day", etc., the alerts I receive will be much more relevant to my brand. You do need to have a Google account for this service (free).
2.When you receive an alert that is derogatory in any way, address it immediately as a comment or reply. If the person posts just a short comment or remark, ask for more specifics. Always come across as caring and wanting to cheerfully resolve this issue. (Of course this is how you would handle any complaint, right?) Keep reminding yourself "How can I help" and "There are 3 sides to every story". If they post publicly, respond publicly. If they post privately, respond privately.
3. Apologize. Admit when someone in your company screwed up. If you didn't screw up, apologize for the misunderstanding and ask, "How can we successfully resolve this issue for you... what would you like to see happen?" Then LISTEN! Many times once a person is heard without interruption, they feel calmer and better able to work toward a happy ending for both of you.
4. Don't justify or make excuses! Spend your time, energy, and focus on solutions!
5. When you post your helpful responses or inquiring questions to learn more about what happened, others are watching and will gauge your brand on how actively YOU handle this. Most issues can be dealt with satisfactorily in this way. The customer is happy. The people who have been following the conversations are happy. And you're happy because you've helped one of your customers. However, there are times when people are just plain jerks. Nothing you do will make a difference and they've blown things completely out of proportion. In that case, do your best. Nothing you do or say is going to matter to these people - they are miserable and want to bring others into their misery. Know when to say "when" and let it go.
Ignoring the situation or worse yet, being unaware of posted complaints, will adversely affect your brand. When a complaint if posted about you or your brand, responding in this way will let your current, past, and potential future customers see that you truly do care about them.