Once you are open to using social media, you need to have a plan to deal with negative feedback just the same as you should with the positive.
Here are some simple steps on what to do. This will be hard to deal with if there are pictures or videos that start getting shared online. But this is why I say, “Offer excellent customer service consistently, and this issue will be reduced”. Plus your fans who love your business will almost always come to your rescue and defend you when someone crosses a line or complains when they are not necessarily in the right.
- NEVER Delete it – this shows you have something to hide. The only time would be when it is obvious that the poster is a spammer, or a troll – someone who simply posts crap online inciting trouble.
- Deal with it and as soon as you can. This is why monitoring your social media channels is so important. Don’t miss a post complaining about your business by not checking your accounts on a regular basis. Acknowledge the post publicly (for most cases you can, sometimes there are instances when this is not good – highly sensitive issues or privacy concerns etc. Just know there are exceptions) and request the person send you – privately – a way to reach out and contact them.
- Once you have their contact info, reach out immediately. Do not wait or their anger will increase and their need to share will follow.
- If you were in the wrong, then state that and apologize. Most times people want to know someone is listening and hearing their problems. Natrel could not do anything to help me with my cheese, but at least they listened and said they will share with their product development team. You can offer the customer something such as a thank you and apology if needed, but be sure to get to the root of the problem too.
- Change your business practices if needed. Depending on the situation you can also share the changes online with your community – again circumstances will dictate if appropriate. Let your community know that you do listen, care and follow up with clients.
BONUS TIP – When you get good reviews, or comments – share that online too! Let people know that others appreciate you and how.
PRO-TIP for those in a HIPAA Compliant Industry... Plan your response wisely. Because no matter what the patient / client says in the review, it’s NOT a release for the private practice to release any patient information in any way in your response. There are two ways to deal with these types of negative reviews/ complaints:
- Offer a general response. Use generic phrases like “We take feedback seriously ” or “We strive to always improve our patient experience.” Just be darn sure you avoid referencing in any way specifics about the client/ patient, EVEN IF the person mentions specifics. Never acknowledge the specifics. … move to #2 if needed.
- Offer to take the convo offline. The same as the list aboive this is the best way to help patients with issues or additional comments. Direct them to reach out. Viewers online will see this and know you want to discuss not avoid the situation. This is the best way to remove yourself from any potential breaches of HIPAA guidelines in further comments.
I had a newsletter reader make a couple comments to me this past week. I shared them on my Facebook page – just to say thanks to them anonymously – whether they are listening or not. The way this is taken from others shows I listen and like to share good things too! It can also entice others to make sure they get on board with the good service – whatever it may be.
Need more ideas for marketing your business online? Check out this free guide Foundations of Content Marketing: Proven Strategies To Get More Clients that shows you exactly how your online marketing content can bring in new traffic, new leads and new sales.
Stop Struggling and Start Thriving! My passion is helping to guide people just like you, dietitians, and private practice owners, who are often frustrated with all their wasted time spent on marketing that gets you nowhere. You can learn strategies to attract a steady flow of clients and build a thriving and profitable practice. Get started with some of the free resources on my Pepper It Marketing website, especially this Marketing Guide for Dietitians. I also offer several self-study training programs to help you attract more clients so you can have the Freedom and Security you want with your business!