I recently read a great blog post by Nancy Marmolejo on “What Do You Do With Ugly Comments?” She sets 4 very good criteria, check them out.

This post got me thinking about how to engage these comments and if even to do so. Here is are some ideas to consider if a situation ever arises for your company. These situations are not easy to deal with but an important part of online business.

reputation managementWhen should you engage or respond to a negative comment or post?
When the comment can potentially impact your reputation.

  • A negative or inaccurate comment is posted online (ie: blog, forum or website).
  • A misunderstanding happens about your products and/or services.

Your goal is to represent yourself positively. Add value, listen and respond to the allegation, complaint or concern. Simply communicate the accurate information, make the appropriate clarifications and redirect the negative overtone.

Attempt to take the conversation offline as soon as you can. Provide an email address or phone number where they can receive immediate attention. You don’t want other unnecessary posts, this will only increase the post’s search engine ranking.

A few steps to take:

First, research the comments to see if they have any merit. Has this happened before or this a one time occurrence? Check with your customer service, has this customer contacted your company yet? What has been done to date? Just take some time to look into the situation before you comment online.

Always take the higher ground. (Don’t criticize the other party) By doing so the matter will get resolved much quicker, in most cases.

Be honest, transparent and ready to listen. This is vital to resolving any misunderstanding.

Explain any measures that have been done to rectify an issues. This will assure the involved party that you have taken corrective measures on their behalf.

Rally client’s, colleagues and customers for additional support with allegations. Again, hopefully it does not come to this but if needed do your best to protect and represent your brand in the best way possible.

There you have it, a few things to keep in mind if the situation every comes around.

Do you have any other suggestions or steps to add? Please share them in the comments below.