Marketing advice for small businesses in Melbourne on handling negatives online

Marketing is not just about reaching out to the market, it includes almost every element that has to do with a brand and company. It is important to have positive interactions constantly but it is even more critical to handle negative ones. Never underestimate the power of word-out-mouth and the “sharing” ability of social media. A problem that is left alone will not be solved, it will get worse.

In this article, we will talk about 5 generic tips you can use to handle negative comments online so that you will not hurt your reputation, customer trust by responding flawlessly to repair the relationship and hopefully attracting more customers!

1. What is the reason behind the negative comment?

You need to understand the reasons behind negative comments. How their expectations will not met by your business? Even though it is easier for customers to leave comments and feedbacks about your business online these days, but what are the chances that you actually do it? For me, I did it once. Most of the time, if someone takes the time and effort to post something on your page are either very active online or they really, really felt insulted by the way they were treated. Treat them with respect and speak to the concerns that have led them to interact with you. There is a type of commenters who leave insulting comments to gain attention, anger other people and often, they probably never interacted with the company before. Therefore, the comments that they post are the least important of comments, as they have little to do with your business.

2. Be professional.

You have all your website and social media accounts are set up professionally, so of course, your responses should be too. Even if your “professional” image is more of a casual tone, when handling complains, you should still speak formally as a representative of the company.

3. Timing is key.

Response as soon as possible, I recommend longest within 24 hours. Because if you don’t reply fast enough, it makes people think that you don’t care and slow response can even make it seem as though you agree with the negative comment. Do not reply in a rush as it can lead to major mistakes. Especially, grammatical errors, “Grammar Nazis” will attack you. Again, those mistakes make your business looks less educated and knowledgeable.

4. Answer the commenter but also to the rest.

Your response can been seen by anyone online, therefore, it has to be for the commenter and everyone else. Do not just reply with one sentence or two, go into details. Offer some kind of service recovery to that commenter.

5. NEVER be rude.

No foul language and do not insult anyone even if the commenter does it as it gives a poor view of how you may treat other customers. If you want to delete someone’s comment, only delete it when it’s generally insulting or would offend the common reader. Negative comments are not necessary bad, it is a way to help you improve your business overall. Proper handling of negative comments improves the opinions of customers, eventually will result in a strong, happy and growing customer base with greater trust.


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