Here are five ways that you and your business can achieve this:1. Always Respond
Responding to negative attention is essential in order for you to avoid drawing more traffic to an issue that started online. According to Jay Baer, Author of 'Youtility', a shocking 70% of companies ignore complaints online, leading to their situations becoming more widely exposed. This should be avoided at all costs due to the fact that additional traffic will become an easy way for the situation to spin out of control.
You may have heard of the 'Beach Body Ready' campaign by Protein World. The brand launched an ad that was said to promote body shaming. It was massively controversial and the company's failure to respond to the reaction lead to the campaign eventually being pulled and to a protest held by hundreds of people in swimming costumes in Hyde Park.2. Respond in a timely mannerAnother way to prevent this situation from growing is to react to it quickly. This will hopefully stop the issue before it has gained any traffic and enable you to resolve the issue between you and the instigator.
If you can, respond the same day that the issue starts. That being said, you should always ensure that you don’t rush your response as it is likely that you could end up making the situation much worse without spending some time thinking of the best way to approach the matter.3. Make sure your response calms the situation rather than igniting it
There are some important things to consider in this kind of situation, especially on a public platform such as Twitter or TripAdvisor. One of these is how the recipient will perceive your response. For example, even if you respond and do so quickly, if the statement is confrontational or aggressive it could make the situation much worse. It is best to respond with a polite attitude and with the intention of resolving the matter, as this is the best way to diffuse any aggression coming from the other party.
Referring back to my earlier example of the Beach Body Ready campaign, its ambassador, Luisa Zissman approached this situation in the wrong way. At the peak of controversy, she said “I personally think the controversy surrounding Protein World is the extreme feminist brigade letting off some bra-burning steam once again." Not only did this worsen the situation, but it sparked more aggression from the public and placed the brand in a not-so-great position.4. Take the complaint to a private area such as DM, private message or e-mail
To ensure that the complaint is dealt with in the least dramatic way possible, take the correspondence to a private forum. By doing this, the person will be unable to draw attention to the issue as it is a one-on-one conversation. This will enable you to end the conflict without giving the situation any more traction. It will also highlight that you are taking the matter seriously and handling it in a professional manner.5. If you get stuck, always enlist the help of an expertIf you are dealing with an angry customer online then there are many factors to consider with regard to responding, including how, when and where you respond. You may find that the complaint is so damaging, that you just don’t know where to start! If this is the case then we advise that you call in the experts in order to help clarify the best way to diffuse the situation and how to do it as quickly and calmly as possible.