Every business is understandably concerned about bad press. The facts remain; there is no sure-fire way to stop an angry customer from an internet rampage. However, there are countless methods to diminish and effectively mitigate the damage. If done properly, a company can turn a bad customer experience into a brand evangelist.
1. Always be listening. The more proactive we are on our chosen media(s), the better our response can be when dealing with bad press.
a. Contrary to popular opinion, speed does not always result in success.
b. Trying to silence others only throws gasoline on the fire.
2. Craft the right message and keep it consistent.
a. You are writing for the audience.
b. You are never writing for yourself.
c. This is a two-way conversation.
3. Be authentic.
a. People do business with people they trust.
b. Blogging and social media help establish that credibility and trust. The more useful information you give away for free, the more trustworthy you are perceived.
c. A customer can be ready to invest with us if we have showcase compelling evidence that we are the best.
4. Consumers aren’t stupid.
a. They can spot a shill, oftentimes very easily.
b. When they do, it’s a feeding frenzy.
5. Don’t feed the trolls. This aspect is challenging for many brands and people.
a. Examine the post and determine if it’s worth a response. A user mentioning how the technician was an hour late and brought the wrong cabling is worth your time. A user spewing gibberish isn’t.
b. Responding unprofessionally can result in a disaster. Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmare - Amy’s Baking Company (full episode) – is the poster-child (Wikipedia article) for mishandling bad press in the 21st century.
c. Copy-pasting the script ad infinitum will not turn the tide. It comes across as, “LALALALALA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
d. Tweak the message so it is personal for the recipient.
6. A Customer’s Journey through Hell.
1. Acknowledge the problem.
2. If it is appropriate, apologize. Don’t let your pride get in the way.
3. Ask questions that cannot be answered with yes or no. Uncover and document as much information about the incident as possible.
4. Don’t stop until the problem is resolved.
5. Be available to converse. Respond within less than 24 hours.
6. Don’t be afraid to contact them to see how they’re doing.
7. Celebrate the resolution.
How to Handle and Avoid Negative Publicity http://articles.bplans.com/handle-avoid-negative-publicity/
The 9 Golden Rules for Dealing With Bad Publicity http://technori.com/2013/07/4516-the-9-golden-rules-for-dealing-with-bad-publicity/
Dealing With Negative Comments on a Company’s Social Media Accounts http://www.prnewswire.com/blog/dealing-with-negative-comments-on-a-companys-social-media-accounts-6691.html