It’s never a pleasant experience when somebody bad-mouths your business. You put a huge amount of effort into running it. And, often, their complaints aren’t even true.
However, people saying negative things about your brand is one of life’s great inevitabilities. You can’t please everyone who buys from you. So it’s a good idea to prepare for this ahead of time. In this post, we take a look at how to respond when somebody bad-mouths your business.
Don’t Threaten Legal Action
If you run a commercial business, people are allowed to say pretty much whatever they like about your products and services, especially if they are private consumers without any other affiliations.
For instance, people are allowed to say things like:
- This is the worst company ever
- The staff were rude and obnoxious
- This company’s product is terrible and nobody should buy it
- This brand is lying in its marketing
As a business owner, reading these things can make you feel on-edge. Mostly, they’re not true. But you shouldn’t threaten customers with legal action if they say something that you don’t like. In most cases, it is not defamation if they are attacking the company itself, and not an individual person within it.
Don’t Ignore Them
If somebody makes a negative comment about your business, don’t ignore it. Instead, find a way to deal with the problem head on. For instance, if the comment is genuine and you did mess up, apologise and then offer public restitution (for instance, by offering the service for free).
If you didn’t mess up, point out why and how. Other people online are usually reasonable and will see that you’re doing your best to meet your customers’ needs. If somebody is being unfair to you, they will take this into account.
Get Negative Comments Removed
You don’t have to put up with negative comments about your brand sticking around on the internet for all eternity. Instead, you can get them removed. Agencies such as Removify, explain how this works. Essentially, you get a third-party to identify negative things being said about your business and then you ask them to remove it on your behalf. They will then approach the owner of the hosting site and negotiate the removal. Usually, the owner will agree and your business’s online profile will improve.
Take It Out Of The Spotlight
If you ever watch a brand feed on Twitter, you’ll notice that the moment a customer makes a complaint, a company rep publicly asks them to speak with customer service. Usually, there’s an agent ready and waiting to deal with their complaint immediately.
Taking an argument out of the spotlight helps to prevent public escalation. This way, all other customers see is the complaint itself and the company response to resolve it.
Lastly, when somebody bad-mouths your business, it’s a good idea to respond immediately. This way, you can nip the problem in the bud before it has a chance to go viral. Allowing discontent to spread unopposed can seriously hurt your brand.