Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing the issue of social media and the benefits and positive effect it can have on your business or franchise. However, what happens when other people leave negative reviews or comments on your business or franchise’s social media page? You hope it never happens, but unfortunately, you can’t please everyone all of the time, and it may be aired on social media by a disgruntled customer.
It is difficult for most, if not all, people to receive criticism, so you may be tempted to delete the comments. However, deleting the negative comments is not the best option and could lead to more backlash from your customers for censoring them. Of course, there are always exceptions for when it may be alright to delete comments, such as comments that contain profanity or are blatantly offensive. In those instances, having a social media comment policy that outlines when comments may be deleted shows that they are not being arbitrarily deleted and can help protect the reputation of your business. If you are a franchisee, you should first consult your Operations Manual and any other resources from your franchisor to see if there is any guidance or policies that address how to deal with the issue. If there are not existing procedures, you should consider creating a social media comment policy that outlines the procedure and standards you will follow to determine if and when comments would be deleted. It is important to remember that, by using social media for your business or franchise, you are inviting your customers to engage with you and so the dialogue should remain open and comments should not be unnecessarily deleted simply because you do not like the comment. Instead, when your business or franchise is faced with negative comments or reviews online, keep the following things in mind to turn the negative comment into a positive result for your business or franchise:
- The negative review or comment is an opportunity to learn what your customers want and expect from your business or franchise.
- The negative review or comment is an opportunity for you to determine how to make it right for that particular customer and avoid the situation with other customers in the future.
- The negative review or comment is an opportunity to protect your business reputation by providing excellent customer service to address and remedy the issue.
Regardless of the situation, it is always in your best interest to listen to your customers and provide the best customer service possible in order to remedy the issue and protect the reputation of your business or franchise.