One of the questions that our customers often ask us is how to manage the interaction with their followers and customers on the web. How to respond to a criticism? What to do if you get a bad review? Our tips in this post!
Social and web 2.0: From consumer to consumer-actor
With the advent of social networks, forums, blogs and sites that give us the opportunity to comment and interact with companies, each of us has gone from being a passive recipient of advertising and communication of companies, to having an active role.
With our reviews, our criticisms and our comments we have the power to change the perception of a company, its products and services, for better or for worse.
We can like or dislike this amplification and sounding effect given by the web – we think, for example, of false reviews or comments written with the sole purpose of making controversy – but it is reality. It is therefore important, if we are on the other side of the screen because we have a business, to know how to manage the dialogue and any criticisms.
The 4 most frequently asked questions about criticisms, comments and reviews
To understand how to use the possibility of dialogue offered by the web and social networks in a positive and constructive way, and to understand how to manage critical situations, let’s start from the 4 questions that are most often asked about the topic:
1- Wouldn’t it be easier to disable comments?
No. Social media and the web are places of conversation. Taking away the possibility of commenting would mean distorting its essence and would be of little use. Although from a technical point of view, in some cases it is possible to do so, it does not make sense. If we take away the opportunity to interact within our channels, closing comments and reviews, people will still find another place to comment.
2- Should you always respond to negative comments and reviews?
Yes, it is important to take care of every answer and comment , possibly moving the conversation to private channels (messages, emails, phone calls) if necessary.
3-To avoid this problem, is it not enough not to have a profile on social media?
Making ostrich (also) in this case is not necessary! People talk, write and give their opinion anyway, that we are not there or not with our channels.
4- How to behave if the criticism is false?
Unfortunately, cases of fake reviews or comments made only to discredit a competitor exist. Our suggestion is to respond anyway politely, but showing that what is being said is not true, clearly explaining your reasons and the real state of the situation. The other people will read your version and will have the opportunity to understand that those who criticized you did it for no reason.
The questions to ask before answering a criticism
Now that we have seen the most frequently asked questions, let’s move on to the concrete: you have received a negative comment or have given you a bad review, what to do? Getting nervous and angry is easy, human indeed, but it is important not to respond immediately. Nobody likes to receive criticism, even more if it is considered unjustified. Our advice is to count to 10, not to answer immediately but to ask yourself some questions to go a little deeper and to understand what the criticism came from and how we can manage it better.
Is the criticism founded? What is it caused by? From a delay? From a disservice? From a product or service that did not match the customer’s expectations. For no real reason?
Then try to ask yourself what those who wrote that review expect : do they simply want to discredit you and put you in a bad light without a real reason or do you expect an apology or an explanation? Do you want a refund or do you need to be reassured?
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Try to change your point of view, look at criticism as an opportunity for improvement. That comment that made you angry at the beginning could become the starting point to review your product or service and make it even more useful and interesting for your customers.
How to respond to criticism and negative reviews
Once you understand better the reasons behind the negative criticism, comment or review, it’s time to respond. The aim is both to clarify the situation with those who wrote the negative comment, and to reassure other people who will read it.
If you explain your reasons well and demonstrate that you know how to listen to positive and constructive criticism, what was a negative element can become positive.
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