The Strategist

Dealing with Negative Comments

03/26/2015 - 16:12

Is it worth to listen to the negative reviews on social networks? How does such criticism affect a brand? How can we strengthen our position as create a wall against ill-wishers and network trolls?

by Nevit Dilmen
by Nevit Dilmen
Brands, like people, are often dismiss the negative. Every time you get a negative, it's a clue. People get annoyed when their expectations they did not meet with: showing a beautiful movie or quality advertising you promise something people, but could not fully realize it. Your target audience is outraged and tells you about it, as it may: through feedback, social networks, call centers. Irritated people are outside the internet too. Why? Because they do care.

A company should communicate with the target audience, and negative is an important part of this communication. Raising ambition and leadership always requires strong and emotional statements to audience. These are slogans, new offers, services and innovations.

Marketers and businessmen may be brilliant and can plan perfect projects, but even perfectly conceived does not mean perfectly implemented. More often than not, the reality is different from plans and what we have promised to target audience.

For example, we say that the ski patrol in Bukovel provides security policy, but on Facebook, we are informed, that the ski patrol is rude. If we just shake off the negative, then the number of angry and annoyed will grow and could lead to serious conflict during the overloaded day. However, if we listen to the audience and its indignation and ready to make a difference - we improve the product (service resort) and the relationship with the target audience. Solution for Bukovel was the introduction of cameras GoPro on the ski patrol helmets. All contacts with clients are written in the video. And conflicts disappeared by themselves - skiers do not provoke (they are being filmed), ski patrol communicates respect (they also aware about the cameras!). 

Another striking example of Bukovel practice is a serious negative in respect of claims for the leadership of the resort in Eastern Europe among ski resorts. In 2010, we criticized that even with 55 km of trails, we cannot claim to be №1, not having the largest snow park in Eastern Europe. The creation of the park kickers and rails is a large investment, but massive pressure on social networks has allowed us to demonstrate to heads the existence of the request, as the abyss, which was formed between our claim to leadership in Eastern Europe and the reality.

Creating and annual maintaining of the snowpark took away all the questions - people literally prayed and wept for joy. The resort stole hearts of thousands skiers and snowboarders and create a platform for the most outstanding events of the season.

Another thing, if a negative is creating by ‘trolls’ - people who are not our target audience. The development of relations with these people or bots would not lead to an improvement of the resort and would not receive the expected satisfaction. Learning that this kind of negative needs to be separated and clearly marked in communication pages or offline, noting that the person does not know our product or brand or is not desirable, is the target for us. Honest conversation will clarify the motivation of the brand and its marketing team.

Five recommendations for dealing with negative.

1. Pay attention to target audience negative.

2. Realize that negative is a reaction of your client, who has not received the promised by you.

3. Take the negative as the knowledge of your audience and make changes where the audience discovers the difference (promised not coincide with reality).

4. Separate negative from ‘trolls’ and untargeted audience. Suggest them know learning more about your product or brand, increase knowledge about it - and then you will be more attentive to their opinion.

5. Deepen communication with your target audience.

If you begin to listen and be attentive to the negative, you will soon find a trail of happy customers who do not care who was heard and who took part in the improvement of their favorite brand. These people become advocates of the brand, and, along with the marketing team can respond to the negative, clarifying the position of the brand or informing ‘dissatisfied’. It is brand’s golden asset. You need to know more about those people, organize special events for them and provide them with the opportunity of unlimited influence on the brand.
Based on online marketing materials