The drastically growing social media trends in Kenya are something everyone should watch. The smartphone penetration and growth of digital platforms have immensely shaped online communication, especially among the youth.
Previously, you would buy a wrong product and the seller would go scot-free, no return policy and a customer would do nothing about it but now, they will take it to social media and the whole company can go down with just one disappointed customer.
While there are readers who have genuine reasons to give bad reviews after a bad experience, some are there to torment you and weaken your arms online. Despite having a negative impact on your business or blog, reader or the customer is relieved as their query will be noticed and promptly acted upon.
In his Phrase ‘Customer is always right’ Harry Gordon Selfridge defends the customers to be treated seriously and make them feel appreciated but is it really the case? Conferring on the Forbes piece on the phrase, it points out that, we live in a world where the customers are not always right but at times armed to use social media as a weapon against your business.
While blogging or doing any business online, you need to be aware of such people and have solutions ready when such cases do happen.
Medium.com teaches us eight powerful tips to handle negative feedback for business as pointed out beneath:
- Be a good listener.
The best way to receive negative feedback is to listen and actually hear what’s being said.
There’s no question that not interrupting and listening carefully is the right thing to do when you’re getting negative feedback.
Distinguish the accuracy of the feedback from the quality of its presentation. Few people are skilled at presenting criticism in a way that makes the recipient feel comfortable accepting what’s being said as worthwhile information and learning from it.
- Distance the emotional self
Some comments may look personal but as a business don’t take negative feedback as personal or get defensive in the process.
It’s human nature to react when we get negative feedback. Take the remarks as positive as possible by accepting the feedback in the negative form.
- Don’t try to prove the customer is wrong
Proving a customer wrong makes you close-minded to the useful information that might have been presented poorly.
When your criticizer is factually wrong, the response “You’re wrong!” won’t be as helpful. The key is to listen to the other person without planning your reply. Simply nodding until the other person has completely finished will make sure that your counterpart has said everything intended.
- Ask questions
Questions can help the other individual communicate clearly whatever his or her core message could be.
Asking questions as well eliminates the appearance of defensiveness and keeps us from immediately jumping in to justify our actions
- Put yourself in the shoes of a customer
You can’t always deliver solutions, but you can always deliver empathy.
By putting yourself in the shoes of a customer, you also get the context that helps you do your job. Try to understand what your customer is going through and the impact the problem is having on their day. Convey that you deeply understand how the customer feels and you would feel exactly the same.
- Ask for time
Take time to collect your thoughts. Think carefully about what you plan to say and what impact it will have.
While it is essential to respond quickly, it is equally important not to react defensively and to allow just a little time to respond appropriately. If you are answering negative feedback on the telephone or via email, your comments will be relatively private. If you are responding via social media be aware that other people will see your comments and this may lead to further negative comments.
Even if you didn’t do whatever made them upset, you can still genuinely be apologetic for the way your customer feels.
- Resolve the issue quickly & fix the process
Get to the bottom of why the mistake occurred, without blaming anyone; focus on fixing the process so that it doesn’t happen again.
While all this is done, you might find out that customers are not always satisfied at the same time. Don’t be in quick to move on from the conversation afterwards, resolve the problem online piece by piece until you both reach an agreement.
Outwardly, to you, this might be one boring inquisitive client but once anyone sees such a complete conversation, they regain the confidence to work with you in future because of the displayed transparency.