How to Handle Negative Feedback Online

ByLoran Simon|Social Media

Business quality service customer feedback, rating and survey keys with smiling face symbol and icon on computer keyboard.Business quality service customer feedback, rating and survey keys with smiling face symbol and icon on computer keyboard.
You’ve got a blog, a Twitter account, the whole social media package. As your followers and traffic grow, so does the potential for complainers. Some may be disgruntled for good reason. Others are simply mean-spirited.

What can you do about these complaints on the web?

It’s important to address feedback professionally. Pass it along the proper channels for consideration and response. Set up an internal structure on who will handle the feedback, who is accountable for it, and who continues engagement with the writer. Set up a strict response time.

On your website, post your policy on feedback. Here’s what the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) writes on their site:

“We encourage your comments on Mayo Clinic’s various blogs, and hope you will join the discussions. We can’t respond to every comment, particularly those that deal with individual medical cases and issues. We review comments before they’re posted, and those that are off-topic or clearly promoting a commercial product generally won’t make the cut. We also expect a basic level of civility; disagreements are fine, but mutual respect is a must, and profanity or abusive language are out-of-bounds.”

That’s an excellent policy for a dental practice as well. It’s important to take negative feedback seriously, as long as it is within reason. However, if the comment is simply antagonistic, you can make a response – then opt out of the conversation.

Every comment, no matter how ill-informed or irrational, is an opportunity. The better your response, the more respect you’ll gain from the community overall. As an independent dental practice, you can use this opportunity to inform your public about your service – and gain even greater respect.

In our next post, we’ll look more deeply at this issue of negative feedback. What about Twitter, Facebook and other social media? Let’s talk about it.


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About the Author

After generating more than 85,000 patients for our own dental lab, and for the clients of our digital marketing agency for dental practices, I cracked the code for running successful online marketing campaigns.