Monday, August 13, 2012

How to deal with Facebook criticism

If you have a business page on Facebook, you've probably been there: someone says something negative about you or your business on your own business page.  Frustrating, right?  There are absolutely best practices when it comes to handling Facebook criticism, but the pressure is on here, since it's in a public arena - a wrong step can really wind up hurting your brand, your image, and your business.  That being said, handling this right can turn a negative into a positive and help you gain customers.  Here are some thoughts about how to deal with these types of situations.

First, ask yourself an important question: is the customer's complaint legit, and does it seem like they are looking for a resolution?  The answer to these two questions is what should determine the response.

If yes to both
Apologize, publicly, and ask the person to explain what happened (whether or not you do this part publicly is a judgement call about how bad the situation was, but if possible, do so publicly, and you'll see why in a second).  Whatever the situation, offer to remedy it however possible (refund, new product, exchange, etc) and apologize, just as you would in any other situation.  If the person was truly looking for a resolution and not just to whine, they'll likely be very appreciative of your generous offer.  This will be seen publicly and give the impression that you are a company that truly cares about your customers and customer satisfaction; this, of course, can only help your business!

If the complaint is legitimate, but they just wanted to complain and not get their issue resolved
The same as above, but with a slightly different tact.  Instead of trying to resolve the issue publicly, ask the person to send your brand page a message and respond in kind.  Otherwise, handle identically.  This way, when the person keeps complaining (since they aren't looking for a resolution and just want to complain), its being handled privately, not publicly.

If no to both
Delete the post and block the user.  This is particularly true if the user is cursing, making things up, etc.

Anything to add to our recommended approach?  Let us know in the comments!

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