Thank God to the social media ‘gurus’, we have a now have a fair idea on how to deal with negative comments from customers. Typically, you would apologize, offer a solution, provide a free service etc when faced with negative comment from your consumer. The question that still bothers us is, how do one deal with online negative comments from your employees. Everyone now-a-days is present on social media. So firing someone, each time there is some sort of negative comment, is not always an option. Is it really that difficult to deal with negative comments? Is termination the only way? We will list a few different ideas to deal with online negative comments.
1. Sort it out offline, if possible
We are all a big mouth already, and when it comes to social media, we have this intense urge of self-defense. When you see something you don’t agree with, the first response will be to answer it. That is not always a good idea. You, for most cases, do not want any negative publicity, which can spread like wild fire on the internet. So take a step back and wait until you meet the person face to face. And, while you are at it, make sure you social media guys are present there, as they will probably be the first to notice it.
2. Don’t fire unless you are sure
The first action response to avoid social media nuisance is to fire the employee who bad-mouthed your company online. Please “don’t”, not just yet. Present the evidence you have to the employee and if they refuse to explain themselves or if their arrogance kicks in, then think of termination. The idea is to avoid bad press as much as possible and press is always pretty sniffy about these situations. A disgruntled employee, who just got fired for writing a negative comment online, will attract a lot of bad press for you and your business. So, the best way is the path of reconciliation and if they still refuses to apologize and undo the damage, then you are no longer, a bad boy and it will make the piece less interesting to the press.
3. Clean-up if and when necessary
Protecting your brand, business and other employees should always be the priority. When the things are looking a bit negative and you think some cleanup is necessary, go for it. Remove the comments that can damage your company’s reputation. What is important here is, to be as gentle as possible; the goal is to minimize the fallout and not to add fodder to the rampant news agencies about you. Also, the thing which goes without saying is you have to be gentle and courteous in any situation, positive or otherwise.
Though negative comments, especially from employees are very difficult to deal, but with the thriving increase of social media in our daily lives, it will sometimes become a must-have skill. One wrong step and your customers may start hating you. There are ample archetypes available online for these mishaps (but, we won’t mention it here for the sake of reputation management). Remain calm and patient, it is the only possible way to fix these things with only small amount of noise.