Negative reviews and comments are the bane of digital marketing. In the Philippines unfortunately, Internet trolls abound and netizens tend to get aggressive with their opinions – informed or otherwise – behind the safety of the computer screen, which can spark viral flame wars very quickly.
Sensitive issues, such as race, gender, and the economy, when not thoughtfully handled can incite quite a bit of vitriol, as seen in the remarks generated by Bayo's mixed race campaign. While more common with sensational articles, negative comments on Facebook pages can and do happen. Making a mistake can easily turn an unsatisfied follower into a flashpoint for a viral mess and ruin any good brand perception you might have.
Plan In Advance
Ideally, your brand should have a solution for any possible negative comment. Anticipate possible mistakes and have a contingency ready. Keeping your time to respond short is vital to prevent the problem from escalating. Prepare your social media team with a pacifying response while investigating the issue, and consider offering discounts and freebies to mitigate any negative sentiments with justifiable basis.
A brand playbook, which details how to respond to different situations, is an excellent tool and can be life-saving during critical moments.
When a basher posts a negative comment on your wall, a quick public response is needed. Allowing it to stay unanswered will only expose it to your other fans. This is when preparation is truly needed. Remember to keep calm, and be patient and understanding. Don’t delete the offending message because it will only give the basher more reason for anger.
After responding publicly, contact unsatisfied customers in private through a PM or e-mail. Tell them that you're sorry – if there is indeed basis for their complaints –and offer a solution to their problem. Provide a personal touch to get them on your side. Once you've managed to work out a reasonable solution, you can ask them to remove the negative post.
Turn the Negative into a Positive
Sometimes, a negative post can be the springboard to highlight your brand's positive qualities. Try focusing on your positive qualities while responding to that post. For example, "We're sorry for your bad experience but in our 30 years of delivering quality service, we've never let a customer down. We'll send a private message now to get your information and resolve the issue ASAP!"
Brand bashers can’t be avoided but they can be countered and transformed into loyal customers.
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Instead of thin skinned, highlight that Filipinos are aggressive on certain issues like race, economic or gender equality. Minor comments or wrong use of words. Example Bayo’s half half campaign
Let’s site an example on how they can plan in advance. One is to create a playbook that will give them a standard guide on responses for irate customers that is within brand guidelines and strategy.