How to Love Negative Feedback

Limitations in social networks (like EdgeRank algorithm in Facebook), oversaturation of news feeds makes the communication of a brand with its audience more complicated. Now you need to invent new social media marketing tactics to turn people into fans on their own initiative. It’s interesting that one of the inducements to visit brand page is negative feedback. Lyudmila Belyaeva, SMM expert from ESET company, shares her thoughts about why you should be glad to have negative comments on Facebook and other social networks and how you should work with it.

Over the past years it seemed that our groups prospered: hundreds of thousands subscribers, lots of likes and comments, first place on Facebook in Socialbakers rating. There was even a book written about success of ESET in social networks.

However, times, they are a changing. After the EdgeRank algorithm was introduced in Facebook, it became much harder to get into news feeds of subscribers regardless of the quality of content. So now negative feedback is a kind of a tactics that helps us attract users.

A Change of Heart

Social networks have become a comprehensive information provider of any kind. And the most important is that people are not afraid of asking for help or advice there. People get what they came for.

Users’ feedback is processed on a daily basis. This all is done by at least 2 persons – senior technical support manager and a community manager that completed training for ESET products. In complicated cases they ask an SMM manager for help.

Now negative feedback turned into some kind an opportunity to get a new user.

Most of all we like negative feedback. We save them and share with each other. Some cases get stuck in our memory and serve as examples for our new staff members. From time to time it is also useful to make separate customer experience research. This gives you valuable information for further improvements in your product and service.

There was a situation when our user downloaded a trial license, although this user had a commercial license. He was suggested to install additional software via trial installer. Despite all checkboxes were not checked, the additional software was still installed and according to user’s feedback it deleted all browser settings. No surprise that it inspired him to post negative feedback about us in Facebook.

We promptly reacted, checked the distributives, showed where to download a commercial license and apologized, although all our tests didn’t confirm such a strange performance of our distributive (with checkboxes unchecked). This user soon published another post with an acknowledgement for a positive reaction on his previous post. This user stayed with us and didn’t migrate to another antivirus software.

Incurable Pathetic Weepers

Although it’s quite rare case when you get second post even if you have immediately replied and solved the problem. Here’s a very illustrative case. A user watched a series and most probably at the most inappropriate moment he got a popup notification from our software with an invitation to take part in our promotion event. Later we learned about what happened. But before we learned it, we got very negative feedback about the promotion event. And only after the fifth comment we finally discovered the real reason for dissatisfaction.

When we checked his personal page we understood that he needs our help – several paragraphs of text were dedicated to that notification. We took this matter very seriously, arranged a small meeting within the company to discuss why this happened (we had no such requests since the release of 5.0 version of the product). We came to a conclusion that we should thoroughly examine the situation and send the data to our head office in Bratislava. So we asked this user to contact our support team. This user reacted in a friendly manner and promised to write us if that popup window will disturb him again. The discussion was over.

We like negative feedback most of all.

8 days later we received a message from that user via Vkontakte and he wrote that the problem still persisted and he wanted to contact our support team. We checked his personal page again and found 6 long posts with the list of our disadvantages, from an interface that had no logic and to the fact that we were communicating too polite.

I doubt this person needed to solve his problem. Most probably he only needed to express himself. And giving negative feedback is a good way for that. That is why we decided to communicate with him by Email (we usually communicate via Email until the incident is over) and left his message in Vkontakte with no reply.

Those people who constantly complain, sometimes really have reasons for that. A person may think that a purchased license allows him to talk to us with any tone he wants, since he paid the money. And his problem may be quite real. Another thing is that you’d better not communicate with such persons in the public because it will damage the climate in your community.

By helping our users we solve our tasks

By providing technical support during the whole period of interaction with us we encourage users to repeat buying. And the use of social networks increases the amount of requests, problems solved and the amount of satisfied customers.

With such approach we even managed to persuade chronic trial users to obtain paid version. They see that we help them, care about them even despite that they do not pay us. And at some point they decide to purchase a license.

How you can wrest down negative feedback

1. Arm yourself with patience: dissatisfaction is inevitable. In our case antivirus software is not an easy-to-use product. The problems can be with installation, settings, updates, etc. Many people are not familiar with computers very good and this fact adds problems. First of all the person gets nervous. He paid money, is unable to use antivirus and he is told the language he doesn’t understand. Patience is the key skill of a customer service manager. If we want to nurture loyalty, we should first get loyal by ourselves. Loyal even to a bad mood or groundless insult. And you should keep yourself well in hand even if you feel resentment and know that your company, your product or colleagues deserve better attitude.

2. Do not try to come up with a worthy reply — just wish a good day to that person because he is already frustrated. It’s easy not to say rude things, but it is much harder to avoid ironical comments or value judgments.

3. React immediately. In general there is a simple objective law: the higher the speed of problem solving, the higher the loyalty of the customer. So try to reply to negative feedback as soon as possible.

4. Suggest working solution. A reply on behalf of the brand with no working solution will not improve loyalty of your customer. Now the customer thinks that you heard him but you do not care about him. In turn, if you don’t stay indifferent and devoutly try to help, this gives positive results nine times out of ten.

5. Solve concrete problems. When we just started our groups our technical support immediately analyzed each question of our users and understood that there will be a long communication. So they just answered unceremoniously, “Contact our support”. “Sorry, whom should I contact? I already gave you all the information from my side”, this is what our unhappy customer thought. Later we created standard replies like: if you use trial version, please proceed to the left, if you have a commercial license, please proceed to the right. But then we started to practice individual approach.

5. Do not take the user away from social networks. Instead, use threads, comments to posts on the wall as well as personal messages, communicate directly at the page of this user. Everything depends upon concrete situation. But if there is confidential data involved, it is mandatory to move the whole communication to Emails.

6. Attract users. We have the biggest flow of requests in Vkontakte. So we are hail-fellow with many permanent members of our group and they help users together with our support managers. It helps much when it’s late at night or when we have too much requests.

7. If your customer took a decision to stop using your product and this situation cannot be changed, stay calm but draw conclusions for the future. If you know the reasons your user leaves you, it will help you to avoid such mistakes in the future much easier.


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