How to handle negative product reviews on social media

Social media can either be a benefit or a curse for your brand. Posting on social media allows people to respond, and those comments can quickly turn people off of your brand/product.

Netgear makes a range of routers for home and office. Today they posted, on Twitter, a review of one of their Orbi products with a retail price of over $1400. The responses were not kind and acted as product/brand reviews. Most complained about other Netgear products dropping signals, and one person said, “look at these responses; are you even reading these!”. Another person complained about the high price and talked about brand options.

Social media gives customers a voice, and in turn, those voices can act as product/brand reviews. It was so bad for Netgear that they winded up deleting the post. This is the risk you take when you buy ads on social media.

Negative reviews and unwarranted internet trolls can have disastrous results and compromise your brand loyalty on social media, but there are some things you can do.

Based on a recent survey:

  • Customers avoid a company 94% of the time after reading a negative review.
  • Customers want firms to reply to bad reviews within a week, according to 53%. One in three people has a shorter period of three days or less.
  • 63% report at least one of the companies they looked into never responded.
  • Managers performing line-staff duties and organizations continuing to function with a reduced workforce may have expedited these tendencies due to the pandemic.

1ne: Acknowledge the complaint and do your best to respond. In Netgear’s case, they did try to answer, but the negative reviews were so prevalent they did more harm than good.

2wo: Understand that you won’t be able to keep everyone happy and that trolls will mock your brand.

3hree: Separate yourself from the review and look at it objectively. This will help you form a well-written and impartial response instead of one fuelled by anger or distress.

4our:  If your customers do not like your product, they will tell you. This means you can pivot earlier, and less money you will lose in the long term. Many negative reviews could be an alert for a product end of life strategic decision.

5ive: Choose a social media administrator who understands your brand and can empathize with customers. People respond to kindness.

Here is a checklist:

  1. Respond to the comment as soon as possible
  2. Be apologetic
  3. Discuss the problem privately
  4. Appreciate their feedback
  5. Ask them how you can help, and help
  6. Don’t delete their comments
  7. Pick your battles
  8. Don’t delete their comments

Finally, you need to ask if your brand should be advertising on social media. Hard good brands, like Netgear, have a lot of products and are going to have a lot of comments from customers, both pro and negative. Vizio TV used to advertise on social media until people started detailing their problems and the lack of good customer service.

Social media can be a great advertising channel but be prepared for pushback from angry customers.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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