Should I delete negative comments?


Good evening, Social Rabbit here with your guide to the world of social media.

The answer to: Should I delete negative comments is NO.

Why?

  1. A negative comment is a chance for you to fix the situation
  2. It is a chance for other customers to see how you handle negative feedback and to get feedback on common issues
  3. It demonstrates how good your company’s customer service is
  4. It shows your customers that you do listen and do care about them

Often a negative comment on a Facebook wall or on Twitter is a bit of a cry for help, the person is fed up of talking to the customer service department, they are getting no where fast.  They think that by posting a comment in a social media space where more people will see it will shame the company into responding.  However in many cases companies “freak out” (it’s a technical term) and just delete the comment as they don’t want anything negative impacting their otherwise warm and fluffy wall.

However deleting only makes the problem worse… imagine I am cross and complain on the Facebook page wall of the company, I go back the next day to see that my comment has been deleted, I now have 2 reasons to complain!  Not only this company won’t listen to me but they are also rude and are ignoring me….

If you do get negative comments what should you do?

  • Answer them calmly, without getting annoyed with the person making the comment
  • Deal with it quickly – remember other people are reading into
    a) how long you take to respond
    b) what your response is
  • Don’t assume you know the answer, feel free to ask for more clarification or the outcome they’d like
  • Don’t be afraid to take the conversation off-line by asking them to email/call you to discuss it
  • If the comment is something like “your product sucks” often that isn’t worth a response, if you have a good community built up in your network then they will often slam that person far harder than you could have.  Let your community do this for you, let them defend your company, your brand, your service that’s when you know you have built a great community
  • Understand that often the person just needs to let off steam and they are not having a go at you personally!  So don’t make your response back personal.

Make sure your team know what your policy is to negative comments so that they deal with them in a professional and polite way.  After all the goal is to turn those negative comments people (who obviously care otherwise why would they bother to moan….)  into raving fans who tell everyone how wonderful you are, how quickly you sort out issues and how much you care.

Have you experienced negative comments on your social media pages?  Tell me in the comments and what happened when you dealt with it (as I hope you did and didn’t hit delete!)

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3 Comments

Filed under social media

3 responses to “Should I delete negative comments?

  1. Makes a lot of sense, thanks. 🙂

  2. BJ

    Agree and disagree. We had a new business that received heaps of feedback (good and constructive) and treated it the same way as you had. We were initially concerned but decided to ride with it and contacted customers who saw ways we could improve our services and thanked them with free goods and services. In a number of cases the customers responded straight away on facebook saying how great we were – gold stars for us.

    Then we had the customer from hell, a small problem was blown out of proportion and she had already told her friends about it and convinced them that she was right. They then decided to all make numerous posts all over our facebook page on comments people had already commented on. We had no choice but to delete them.

    The result is that their comments are automatically broadcast to all our customers. They of course believed the people commenting and our business suffered immensely – in just the first week these comments were made we identified over $3,000 of lost sales (cancellations of bookings already made). Others I have spoken with still remember these comments and have taken months to revisit our business.

    The sad part was that when we confronted the main person involved they agreed that these issues were minor and they had over reacted and we have had this person and her friends revisit the business with raving feedback. Now they have not returned to facebook to tell anyone, infact they probably never will. I suspect they just wanted a few freebies.

    In addition, we have identified a number of people who comment on our facebook page as having fake profiles. How did we find this out? We thanked them for their feedback and offered a gift – their response “I would be embarrassed to receive the gift as it would mean that I would have to reveal who I am”. Do you report these people – they are providing some valuable information… we have decided not to.

    Facebook – an evil but unfortunately becoming a business and marketing necessity. If you don’t start your facebook page – someone will start it for you and then you have lost control of your brand.

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