The Best Way to Handle a Reputation Crisis
With social media on the rise, more opportunities are available for companies to seek out their audience. A company’s Facebook page or Instagram feed contains opportunities for customers and clients to give feedback about services rendered or products purchased. Of course, this feedback can come back as positive, but it also may come back as negative. Negative reviews, comments or questions can be viewed on your company’s social media pages instantly. Unfortunately, this cannot be stopped every single time. However, there are ways to handle these situations professionally and with poise. Perhaps the best way is taking it offline.
Taking it Offline
Your social media and your website are landing pages for your audience. These pages are the online presence and the face of your company. Your reputation is on the line with every single piece of content you post as well as the content from others. Sometimes, it is impossible to fix every negative word spoken; however, there are steps you can take after it happens. Taking the situation offline will solve any further damage that has been done.
- Don’t fan the flame.
Don’t respond with rude comments or questions. This will only cause further conflict and looks unprofessional on your company’s part.
- Say You’re Sorry
Whatever the issue, apologize. Regardless of who you may feel is at fault, this is your company’s reputation on the line. Responding in kindness will have a larger impact than responding with anger. For example, “I am sorry that you feel this way,” is a great way to let your customer or client know that you are sorry they feel negatively towards your company, regardless of how you may feel.
- Conflict Resolution
After you apologize, further conflict resolution is important. If using your website, attempt to get their information such as an email address. Then, use this to send them a message privately instead of on your web page. If using Facebook or other social media, send them a personal message. Do whatever is possible to make sure the discussion is private instead of public. Apologize and leave it there in public. Whatever you decide to say in private, make it positive.
When it Doesn’t Work
Not every single conflict can be resolved. You may lose a customer or a client. You may try every kind of conflict resolution from refunds to a discount in services to no avail. However, staying positive is crucial for your success. Do not lash out. One lost client should not turn into several. Keep your confidence.
Your reputation is gold in the business world. By taking conflicts offline, you are stopping any further issues from happening when a conflict arises. This also conveys professionalism to those watching the conflict from afar. It is important to remember not to fan the flame, apologize and to resolve the conflict. If you cannot resolve the conflict, allow it to rest. Do not lose your confidence and know you have handled the situation in the best possible way.