Social media allows auto body and collision repair shops to engage more with their customers and prospects. It’s a great place to establish brand image and personality. But social media has its dark side too, a.k.a negative social media comments. Even the biggest most successful auto body shops receive negative comments.
More often than not, people who acquire services from collision repair shops already have a lot on their plate (their vehicle have been damaged, of course, they’re already on the edge). Make a job mistake and they might completely lose it. People tend to go on social media to vent their dissatisfaction and anger towards a brand.
The online space is a world of criticism. You must learn how to properly deal with negative comments or your auto body shop’s brand will suffer.
Here are 6 tips on how you can deal with negative social media comments like a pro.
1. Keep track of your brand engagement online.
People can directly leave comments on your page or tag you in their posts, which is in your favor since you’ll get notified. But others can opt to just mention your shop with “venting” posts, without you even knowing. You can’t deal with something you are unaware of.
Monitor your brand engagement online. Talkwalker Alerts, Social Mention, and Google Alerts are online tools that can keep track and notify you of online conversations that mention your brand and specified keywords.
2. Compose yourself.
You might feel wronged and unjustified with some negative comments and get angry. But remember, you can’t drive out darkness with darkness, only light can do that. Respond to a negative comment positively. Clear your mind and deal with the complaint professionally.
Professional can get boring. If boring is not your style, try to inject some humor or playful sarcasm in your response. Exhibit your shop’s personality by expressing humor and humility in appropriate situations. This also lightens up the mood easily.
3. Address the issue.
You can delete or ignore a negative comment but it won’t do your brand any good. Be responsible and face criticisms head-on. You can’t redeem your shop’s image by ignoring the issues at hand. Provide excellent customer service and address the issue.
Be quick and wise in acknowledging the complaint. Excuses won’t save you. The customer won’t accept them or worse, you might end up angering them more. Take a humble and caring approach in addressing the issue.
Put yourself in your client’s position. Try to understand where they’re coming from, where you fell short and what you can do to make it better. A quick apology for the inconvenience is a good way to start. You don’t need to resolve the issue right there and then, but promise that you will work on finding a solution.
4. Take it out of the spotlight.
People tend to feel more powerful and entitled on social media. Having an audience can make it hard to placate an angry client, you always have an audience on social media. Some complainants can get aggressive or the issue can get out of hand. You wouldn’t want to give your current and potential clients a bad show.
Address the issue by replying to their post in public then offer to continue the conversation in a more private channel – direct message, phone call or email. This is not an attempt to silence or neglect the customer but a way to provide them a more personal and professional customer service.
5. Treat it as a learning experience.
Keep an eye on the issue and keep a record of how you resolve the issue with the customer. Make sure it’s a lesson learned. Find a way to prevent the issue from happening again to ensure it won’t happen to other customers as well.
6. BEWARE OF THE INTERNET TROLLS!
Internet trolls are up to no good. They make mischief by provoking people and brands. Business pages with personality often attract trolls so beware of them. Feed them attention and they won’t leave you alone.
Obscene languages, invalid facts, insulting and off-topic arguments, irrelevant links, and spam promotions are telltale signs of troll comments. Respond once and then let them be. Don’t feed the trolls.
Deal with negative social media comments the way you handle face-to-face complaints. Don’t ignore them. You shouldn’t neglect clients just because they give you a negative comment. You take care of them and make sure to resolve their issue.
Most critics get a better impression of businesses that can deal with their issues. They might even give your shop a second chance and acquire your services again or, even better, remove their negative comment and replace it with a thankful and positive one. Make sure to follow the tips above and deal with negative social media comments like a pro.