Understand that there are different types of negative feedback, classify them and respond (or don’t) accordingly

Not every negative comment is posted with the same intention. To categorize the negative feedback you get, you can use the classification types created by Simply Measured:

  • Pressing: a comment warning you something you can resolve immediately. When you get this kind of comment, quickly solve the situation and reply letting the user know.
  • Constructive: with no intention of being rude or nasty, this type of feedback often comes in the form of suggestions to make something better. Here you should thank the user for their feedback and evaluate how much sense it actually makes to implement the suggestion.
  • Disgruntled: this is when it gets nasty. It might be hard to reason with the person who made the comment, so the best decision might be to just say you are sorry and either move on or take the conversation to the DMs or e-mail. And always keeping your cool, of course.
  • Spam: comments made by trolls. Take a deep breath and… ignore.

Don’t take it personally and don’t get too defensive

There are two things you can’t forget:

  • By having an online presence, you are putting yourself in a position where you will probably, at some point, receive negative comments. It comes with the package. (and the more you grow, the “worse” it gets)
  • It is easy for people to bash your brand when there is a screen between them and you.

So, you have to learn how not to get too upset when you get bad feedback. Internalizing that your brand will never please every single person, that everybody makes mistakes and that some people simply like to start disputes might be helpful.

When needed, move to a private conversation

If you come to the conclusion that a certain comment shouldn’t remain ignored, definitely reply publicly. But if there is more to be said than an apology and/or a thank you, don’t continue the conversation in the comment section. Along with the “We’re sorry” or the “Thank you”, provide the user with an email they can send details about the situation to or tell them to provide more information about the problem via DM.

This will guarantee that, in case things get out of control, it doesn’t happen where everyone can see it, and it also shows that you are here to help your customers when things don’t go as planned.

Learn from it

If you see that the complainer is actually right, implement the changes necessary so that you don’t receive the same complaint again. Every business, no matter how big or small, makes mistakes and has space for improvements. And hey, multiple heads are better than one, so be glad you get feedback from your customers.

Knowing how to deal with and respond to unpleasant comments is the key to turn a negative experience into a positive one. Let your customers know that you take their opinion and feedback into consideration and you will see great results!