Last week I stopped by my local Chipotle, preparing to indulge in a giant bowl of cilantro lime, chicken, salsa deliciousness. Much to my dismay, it took 15 minutes to get my food and check out, despite being the only one in line. Before I had a chance to complain, an employee handed me a few cards for free chips and guacamole and a burrito. I forgot I was irritated almost instantly. (Who doesn’t love free chips and guac?)
Handling dissatisfied customers can be fairly straightforward in person, especially since you cannot ignore them when they’re standing in front of you. But how do you respond to brand criticism in a public forum such as the Internet?
Your instinct may be to delete the criticizing post, if possible, or just ignore it all together. Perhaps placating the customer with an apology is your preferred response. Maybe you’re even driven to lash out because you feel they are in the wrong. Words to the wise — tread very carefully.
Let’s face it. You’re never going to make everyone happy. With the prevalence of social media and review sites like Yelp, word travels fast if a customer is unhappy. Luckily, customers are unlikely to dismiss you based on one negative comment. In fact, negative comments can be turned into an opportunity to gain respect if handled correctly.
Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts on handling negativity on the Internet:
What are your best practices for managing negative comments and reviews?