Kinsey Glenn, Public Relations Assistant, Erlanger
We’ve all seen them; scathing reviews posted all over Facebook to tell friends and family about a negative experience that someone had with a business. Mistakes happen and, unfortunately, not every experience that a consumer has with your business is going to be positive. However, the way that you handle this negative feedback has the potential to turn a bad situation into a positive one for both your customer and your online brand. Here are some tips:
Respond to your consumer in a timely manner
This is self-explanatory. Nothing adds fuel to the fire of an unhappy consumer like the feeling of being ignored.
Redirect your negative feedback
Many people use social media as a place to vent their frustration and voice their concerns. Do not belittle their opinions or argue back and forth. Reply to the consumer and direct them to your direct messaging inbox. This method recognizes the consumer’s concerns, while also directing their feedback to a more private venue where you can address the matter at hand. This also provides the opportunity to connect your consumer to a customer service phone number or email address to get the issue resolved through the proper channels.
Listen to your consumer feedback
By this, I mean REALLY listen. Do not reply with an automated apology or an impersonal response. When someone is upset, they want to feel like they are being heard. Allow your consumer the opportunity to provide feedback. When they are done, show that you have listened by providing a genuine response, personalized to their situation.
Follow through with consumer feedback
An important aspect of rectifying a consumer experience gone awry is the follow through. Communicating with the consumer to resolve the issue is only half of the battle. As the representative for your business, it is your responsibility to get consumer feedback to the appropriate person within your organization. Check in at a later time to ensure that changes are made to prevent another consumer from having a similar experience. Negative feedback provides your organization the opportunity to assess what is and is not working for your consumers.
Know when to shut it down
No matter how hard you try to level with every displeased consumer, there will be people who go overboard and cannot be consoled. When someone’s posts become threatening, abusive, or hateful, it is time to shut the posts down. Select to hide these comments or posts from your page and report the person to Facebook immediately. Your consumers have the right to voice their opinions, but no one has the right to make someone else feel unsafe.
Erlanger Health System’s Public Relations and Marketing is made up of a small team of professionals who work with almost 8,000 employees spread over six hospitals, seven emergency departments, and six LIFE FORCE bases. Erlanger Health System is an academic medical center affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and is a Level I Trauma Center for adults. Children’s Hospital at Erlanger is also the region’s only pediatric hospital providing the highest level of trauma, critical and inpatient care, as well as the region’s only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit. Erlanger is the only provider of tertiary care services spanning a 50,000 square-mile region encompassing southeast Tennessee, northwest Georgia, north Alabama and western North Carolina. Learn more about Erlanger here.