Auburn Advertising - marketing agency

Companies with an online presence are bound to get the occasional negative comment or review. Typically, a tiny bit of negative online feedback won’t scare potential customers off, but how your company handles it certainly might. Here are a few tips to help make sure you deal with such feedback in the right way.


Social media should be viewed as a two-way means of communication. If a customer gives you good feedback, say “thank you!” If they give you bad feedback, you should respond to that too. Regardless of what they have to say, any online feedback from a customer is an opportunity to engage with them. It’s also an opportunity to fix a problem. Instead of just saying, “sorry you’re not happy,” try to actually fix what’s broken. Marketing studies show that customers who complain and have their problems resolved usually end up more satisfied with a company than customers who never had a complaint in the first place. It would be great if you could respond saying, “sorry that we inconvenienced you, thank you for pointing it out, and we fixed it!”

Don’t delete...usually

Most social media experts will tell you that you shouldn’t delete customers’ negative comments lest they become even angrier and louder. It’s generally much better to respond since sometimes a response in and of itself will make a customer feel somewhat better.

However, there are a few instances that call for hitting the delete button. If a comment is spam, go ahead and delete it. Also, if a comment is laced with profanity, it’s all right to remove it. Many businesses don’t want to be represented in such a way, and that is completely acceptable. If that’s the case, it might be smart to privately message the customer and let them know why their comment was removed.

Encourage private messaging

Speaking of private messages, that feature, found on most social media platforms, can come in handy in many situations. Depending on the nature of a negative comment, it might warrant more of a conversation than a singular response. However, many companies don’t want to risk a conversation turning into a public argument. In that case, it’s appropriate to say, “We’re sorry you aren’t satisfied. Send us a private message, and we’ll see what we can do!”

Keep calm

You work hard to make your company what it is, so when someone says something online that could contradict the reputation you’ve built, it’s easy to get frustrated. Before you respond, take a deep breathe. How you respond will say a lot more about your company than the comment you’re responding to will. If you lash out at the customer for posting a negative comment or tell them that they’re wrong, that will yield only negative results. First of all, that will do nothing to help fix the dissatisfied customer’s issues. Second, it could scare other customers away from doing business with your company. Customers will be happy to know that if they have an issue working with you, they can have it fixed. You can showcase that to them by staying calm in your response to negative feedback.

Keep in mind that the occasional negative comment or review will not be detrimental to your company. In fact, if you respond in the right manner, it could actually help your company’s image and attract customers. Don’t be afraid to interact with you customers online - the results could turn out better than you imagined.

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