When people feel disrespected by a company, they use their online muscle to complain.
Unfortunately, sometimes it gets out of hand.
However if you quickly acknowledge and control the situation, you can avoid a social media shakedown.
But that’s not good enough. You’re just responding to a bad situation.
How do you prevent it from even happening in the first place?
How can you do a better job of managing your online reputation by fixing problems before they start?
You have these three options.
3 Methods of Prevention
People will complain.
That’s what they do.
You won’t be able to completely prevent it.
But you do have three options to prevent negative comments from taking over online.
1. Prevent Comments
Obviously, you can completely ignore negative comments.
You can ignore online reviews, and prevent people from leaving comments on your Facebook fan page.
However this isn’t suggested.
These online conversations are happening whether you like it or not.
So embrace this incredible opportunity, and figure out how to make it work.
2. Incentivize Good Behavior
You can encourage people to leave positive reviews.
This can easily be done with some sort of discount or upgrade in service. This is the free prize people can get by doing business with you. It’s the extra gift that surprises and delights them.
You can reward customers who write good reviews on Yelp, or reward loyalty through apps like Foursquare.
Remember that existing customers are your best source of revenue. It’s far more expensive to acquire new ones.
So instead of focusing so much on new business, don’t forget to over-deliver on existing customers and building a strong online reputation in the first place.
3. Use Alternatives
Finally, you can use new alternatives to help facilitate constructive communication.
One of my favorite examples is Skweal.
Skweal is a service that helps you keep negative feedback offline. Managers can get real-time comments from customers and respond by email instantly.
The founder, Tyler Crowley, said;
Virtually all one-star reviewers I interviewed said they would have preferred to speak directly to someone when the problem was happening. But nobody has time to be stuck in a phone tree, dig for a customer service e-mail or fill out an impersonal comment card.
Oh, and it’s free. So why hesitate?
These tools give you a better communication platform to manage and proactively respond to customers.
And these three methods also help you create feedback loops.
If you only treat the individual complaint, then the original problem will keep recurring.
So make sure you’re addressing the root problems, and take care of your existing customers in the meantime.