Many companies already have a strong online presence, including small companies. As the digital world continues to evolve, organisations not making use of social media – perhaps for fear of negative reviews - are at risk of being left behind. With 1.65 billion monthly active users, each spending an average of 46 minutes a day on the platform, Facebook business pages are an important part of marketing and communications professionals’ toolkit. With its rich features, customers can easily send private messages, comment on posts, share content and leave reviews with ratings.
It’s always nice to see positive feedback from pleased customers, but what if unfavorable reviews are paired with poor ratings? Here are some practical ways to deal that don’t involve shutting down your page and swearing off social media for life.
Listen to your customers
Customers want to be heard whenever they have concerns or praise. They often end up heading to social media to post them publicly. Social media listening tools are available and can help monitor issues before they become unmanageable – if customers want to be heard, make it clear that you’re listening. Which leads us to…
Create a sense of urgency
It’s vital to pay attention to your customers, but it’s even better if someone can personally respond to concerns in an instant. Make sure that monitoring social media channels is part of someone’s role, or a specialist role, in your organisation. Customers can now see how quickly – or slowly - page administrators answer messages, as one of the many features of Facebook business pages. An understaffed page creates an opportunity to miss customers at an important stage of their journey. At the very least, setup an auto-reply with a warm and friendly customer greeting and assure them that their concerns will be addressed.
Respond to negative reviews
It’s far better to respond to negative comments, rather than deleting them. Unhappy customers are after attention, so deleting negative comments will very likely just anger them further. Business doesn’t end at any stage, whether transaction or otherwise, with customer experiences now becoming cyclical with brands. Clarifications, complaints, or questions need to be answered immediately, and having a Facebook page for your company means they can be addressed quickly and efficiently.
Statistics suggests that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business. - Zig Ziglar
Encourage customers to deal with it offline
Acknowledge their comments, then encourage them to talk over the phone or private messaging to avoid further related posts on your page. Deal with them offline – but once the concern has been addressed and hopefully solved, if appropriate, post a public comment thanking them for their time and make it clear you have achieved a resolution.
Report unfair ratings
These days, ratings with or without reviews cannot be deleted immediately, but don’t worry. You can still report ratings tied to reviews that don't follow Facebook guidelines, for example not focusing on the product or service offered. These reports are subject to review by the Facebook team.