Handling the Haters: Dealing with Bad Reviews on Social Media

Handling the Haters: Dealing with Bad Reviews on Social Media

You get a notification on your company’s Facebook page, you go check it and your heart sinks as you see the dreaded single star review. As you read it, the rage begins to build.


How are you going to answer it? And remember, it’s not just the bad reviewer you must think about.  Your audience will be watching to see how quickly you respond, what your response is, and how the situation was resolved.Your audience will be watching how quick you respond, your response and how it was resolved. Click To Tweet

Take a breath. Realize you’ve just been given an opportunity to show your brand’s character. It’s your time to shine!

Let’s talk about with how you can handle all the haters. We’ll start with…

What You Should Do

Respond as quickly as humanly possible.

We know that can be hard, but you really shouldn’t let it sit. Why? The longer you take, the more people are seeing it with no response from you. Best practice is to respond in an hour or less.

Say Thanks!

Even though “thank you” is probably the last couple of words you have in mind, it’s important to thank them for their time and for bringing the situation to your attention. You want feedback. Yes, even if it’s bad! You want feedback. Yes, even if it’s bad! Click To TweetHear us out — it gives you an opportunity to turn it around and win the customer back. Trust us, it’s better than them not saying anything at all and going straight to bad-mouthing you to their friends.

Always Apologize.

This is an important one. Take ownership of the problem and empathize with their frustration. Take ownership of the problem and empathize with their frustration. Click To TweetWhat if the customer is in the wrong, not your business? You can still offer an apology without admitting fault. How? By apologizing that you were not able to meet their expectations, or for a miscommunication, or just for their disappointment.

Make it right.

Most problems can be handled in public, which can be good because it gives the rest of your followers a chance to see what a delight you are. That said, do not hesitate to ask the customer to direct message you for more complicated issues. The bonus if you can keep it public? People will see how you handled it, and (hopefully) see the disgruntled customer end up happy. Other times you should use direct message: if you think it’s going to be a long conversation, if you think there are details best not seen by the public, if making it rights means giving them something, or if you are requesting personal information (phone number, email address, etc.).

Let’s look at a ‘what not to do’:

what not to do if you get a negative review

Why is this wrong?

Not only did this company wait over three months to respond, they handled this very poorly. Their apology was passive aggressive, and they turned around and insulted the customer. Now, maybe the client was in the wrong here, but the company didn’t give an explanation, nor did they show their side of the story. Potential new business may be hesitant to deal with a company that takes a long time to resolve an issue, avoids calls they don’t want to deal with, doesn’t finish projects they’ve started, and doesn’t put customer service first.

So, You’ve Got a Troll Problem?

By now you’re probably familiar with the concept of trolling (thank you, internet!). Usually, the best way to banish them is to simply not feed them the attention they crave. But what about the situations you should respond to?

To delete or not delete? That is the question.

Never delete a legitimate comment or review.  As stated before, those can work in your favor. Plus, deleting negative reviews can wreak havoc on your brand’s transparency. That doesn’t mean you should keep comments that are offensive, harassment, or that violate the community standards. In those instances, it is not only understandable but encouraged to get rid of them.

Hiding vs. deleting.

What’s the difference between hiding and deleting? Hiding will make the comment disappear to you and your followers, but the troll will still see it (sneaky, right?). It also allows the option to unhide should you want that. How do you achieve this? Hover over the offending comment and a little x will appear (it will also say hide). Click it and voila!

State the facts.

If what they are saying is untrue, then make sure you have the facts to back it up. Writing a press release or blog post addressing the issue/concern will give you the opportunity to reference it if someone brings it up, thereby quickly and painlessly dispelling the rumor.

State the Facts

Laugh it off.

Can the situation be diffused with some good old fashioned joking around? If so, do it! (As long as your sense of humor isn’t creepy or inappropriate). Keeping it light with trolls will show your company can stay cool under pressure. Plus, your followers might get a kick out of it!

Use humor to battle trolls

While you’ll probably never have to deal with a sudden outpouring of hatred (like United did), the odds are you’ll eventually come in contact with a customer that just isn’t happy. Knowing what to do is the first step to keeping your clients satisfied and your brand’s image favorable.

Can’t keep up with social media? Contact KreativElement and see what we can help take off your plate.