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Responding to negative feedback

“It takes years to build a reputation and seconds to destroy it,” said Warren Buff ett. Tara Dulake off ers some excellent advice on managing negative reviews posted on social media.

Tara Dulake

Online Reputation Management image

Expectations for customer care on social media have considerably increased year on year over the past five years with a high expectation for businesses to respond to enquiries, issues and complaints quickly and effectively. This is due to an increasing percentage of customers wanting to fully resolve a problem when they’re engaging with a brand on social media. This means that a clear customer service procedure is vital for all companies of all sizes, from small firms to international corporations.

Tara Dulake

Tara Dulake

It’s important that all social media channels for a company are regularly monitored on a daily basis to pick up on any negative mentions and reviews. No matter what the complaint or comment, other users will not know the history of a situation and will simply judge your business based on the message and your responses. This is your opportunity to show your brand values, tone of voice and customer service to help reduce any negative exposure of your business. Responses that are not replied to can be seen by new customers as negative, which can impact your sales, viewings, or rental agreements. It is also important to note that you should not delete or ignore any negative comments online as this can infuriate people and cause them to further complain and develop negative conversations about your brand online.

Don’t delete negative online comments, it infuriates people and may make it worse!

There are several ways in which you can monitor your social media accounts. Here are a few tips to make sure you find all mentions of your business across all platforms:

1 Download the social media apps onto your phone/tablet and keep logged in. You will then receive any notifications where your business has been tagged in real-time

2 Set up an email address that goes to the key people in your business involved in customer service responses. Use this as your accounts email address within your social media channels so they receive the relevant notifications and respond quickly

3 Use a social media monitoring tool to help you track brand mentions and notifications of all your platforms. Tools such as Sprout, social mention or Talkwalker are useful to find mentions of your brand on social media platforms

4 Do a simple site search in each social media channel to find posts relevant to your brand.


Hours not days – don’t give it time to escalate, try and shut it down or take it offline. Customers go to social media to get a quick response from someone. You therefore need to try and direct the conversation to your customer support team or into private messaging as soon as possible to ensure that the complaint is not escalated further.


You need to decide who should monitor your social media accounts and whether they are the best person to respond to a customer complaint. Whilst you will need someone with experience in managing customer expectations, monitoring accounts can take up a lot of someone’s time. Therefore, you could ask a more junior member of the team to monitor any activity and pass on the details when there is a complaint that requires a response.


1 Collect the relevant contact information and details about their complaint. _ is will help you to determine who best in the company to talk to regarding the situation and develop a response to go back with.

2 Respond back to the customer notifying them that the complaint has been passed on to the relevant person and when they can expect someone to be in touch by.

3 Pass on all relevant details to the team to generate a response, or to contact the customer directly.


Within your tone of voice, you should not be too corporate, or use too many stock responses as it looks like you are not human, which can frustrate your customers when they receive the message. To help respond and improve customer retention, ensure you look at the following:

1 Respond specifically to the issues brought up by the customer.

2 Provide a specific apology that acknowledges any mistakes on your end.

3 State exactly what you intend to do (or have already done) to make it right.

4 Propose how you will improve the customer’s experience in the future.

Tara Dulake, Digital Marketing Director

August 3, 2018

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