Customers love to leave reviews and comments online, especially negative ones. A well-run company profile knows how to respond to them so as not to make the situation worse.
Comments are a form of dialogue that a company can and even must enter with a customer. Template responses to positive reviews or ignoring unfavourable opinions are not conducive to building trust and loyalty of consumers. However, the most harmful can be unprofessional reactions and getting into verbal quarrels with customers. So how do you find the right balance without damaging your reputation?
Why is it important to respond to comments?
Regardless of their tone, comments and reviews are a great source of information about your company’s work. After all, they help you find weaknesses and strengths. It is worth remembering that 90% of consumers look for information about a company online and as many as 82% trust opinions of other people.
By responding to comments, you increase the loyalty of your audience and receive feedback on the quality of your work. It’s important to do this regularly by monitoring social networks, forums, business directories and other similar sites.
Identify your “caller”
Before you respond to any comment, analyze it and determine what kind of message it is.
Customer reviews can be really different. Some are neutral and without informative value, some are mixed with bulleted pros and cons, some contain constructive and thoughtful criticism. It is not uncommon for customers to vent their emotions in comments and insult the company, staff or owner. There are also Internet trolls who want to have fun at your expense.
Correctly recognizing the type of comment will help you prepare the best response, but there are a few general rules to follow:
- don’t ignore any feedback;
- don’t use stiff and impersonal answers;
- do not address the customer by name;
- remain calm and do not insult the commenter;
- in case of negative comments, focus on how to solve the problem.
Not quite serious?
Somewhere between a cultured and serious answer and a rude retort, another way of conducting a discussion with the customer has evolved. It is a combination of humor and distance, characteristic for online communication, bordering on trolling and ridiculing commenters. The exchange of comments becomes a kind of comic show to the delight of other observers
This is the tone in which corporate accounts such as Biedronka, Lidl, Netflix Poland or Tyskie talk to their users. This style creates a unique atmosphere of the profile or fan page, but certainly does not fit to every company. It is also a dangerous balance on the edge of good taste and requires sensitivity. Apparently, in the case of the above mentioned companies, it simply works – there are even groups that collect in one place the funniest comments, and some retorts are inspired by memes and enter the language for good.
If you run a company account, remember that you are responding on behalf of the company. It’s not an easy task, it takes skill and flair, and mishandling online discussions can seriously damage your brand image. If you can’t distance yourself, delegate this task to someone else.
If one of your employees is in charge of the company profile, monitor his or her actions so you can react in a timely manner if he or she oversteps acceptable boundaries. After all, most businesses can’t afford to publicly “wash dirt” and push back with customers.
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