5 ways to manage negative online comments

You can’t control people’s complaints online, but you can control how you respond to them. These steps will help you handle any sticky situation.

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The fact of the matter is, people are already saying bad things about your brand. You have unhappy employees, upset customers, and even belligerent investors. The Web doesn’t change that.

The Web gives people a megaphone, but it also gives you a huge opportunity. Because you can monitor and listen to conversations, you now know what people are saying and how to react to it.

Here are five steps to help you deal with negative comments and criticism online:

1. Recognize that people will complain.

You can’t control this. Human beings like to complain. But we also like it when someone recognizes our complaints and does something about them.

If someone complains or has something negative to say, respond to that person in the place where he voiced his concern, then take it offline. Ask him for an email address or phone number, and discuss the issues in private.

You may have hundreds or thousands of customers, but that’s OK. Customer service can manage this if they’re empowered to do so.

2. Apologize.

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