How Should Ecommerce Companies Respond To Old Negative Facebook Reviews?

How Should Ecommerce Companies Respond To Old Negative Facebook Reviews?

Should You Respond To Old Facebook Reviews?

Question:

elyssestrata asks about responding to old Facebook reviews when they are negative and not answered to.

Answer:

John: well it’s honesty and transparency here, right? Don’t you have to own it, John Max? Don’t you have to just say ‘hey, we’re sorry, you’re right, we’re terrible with this, we’ll get better, we’re starting to today, we are gonna be better. How would you do it?

John Max: I think that, you know, in this day and age and in the Internet, people…people are much more forgiving of mess ups, what they’re not forgiving of is you not responding or trying to cover it up, I mean, ultimately, you look at what’s going on in, you know, pop culture right now ,the difference between your career ending and it being a point that you, you know, you suffer from but you get to come back, is how you respond, and so, even if it’s two months later, think of it as you know…number one, think of it as a kick in the pants, that you need to be checking this better and you need to be providing a better service, I think the context of this was a was a restaurant rant, so I mean, with restaurants themselves, like speed and efficiency, I mean the best tip I ever left was when we had an 8 top and we had to be somewhere in thirty minutes and the waiter came by we like ‘look, if you get us out thirty minutes, we will be your fans for life’ and he did it and he got a glowing review from all of us, got the best tips, I mean it’s part…it comes with the territory, so own it, allow it to be feedback that changes your behavior inside the restaurant and then talk about it online, you know, sorry, we just now got to this, you’re totally right, we’re going to do better, thank you so much.

John: you know, it’s…it’s that self-effacing quality as well, you can’t…if you try to cover that up, people are gonna go more you, if you delete the comment, well you just missed a chance to, you know, show people you’re human, and people like humans, so be human in this and don’t be a jerk, I mean, that to me, it’s probably the two main things there.

Blake: well, I also think it’s not true for your brand personality to come up too, you can take what could have been a potentially damaging moment and really spin it to kind of still serve your brand, your brand voice, let that speak through as you apologize to this customer, you know? 

John: well the best piece off of this feedback is ‘do it this time and then don’t go apologizing again, once you do it, I mean you kind of use your get out of jail free card, and you know if you’re…if you’re going back and doing that every month, then you clearly have a wrong process and you need to listen to your customers.

John Max: yeah, I mean, the worst type of feedback is feedback that no one ever gives you, so this person cared enough about your company to come in and tell you, I mean like, a lot of people treat customer feedback and treat reviews as this negative connotation, even if it’s a bad review, but that’s your greatest opportunity to turn someone into a brand ambassador, if someone’s upset with you and they’re letting you know about it, they’re wanting you to do something and so doing that can actually really, like you said, turn it from a good thing to a positive…from a bad thing to a positive thing very quickly. What you need to fear is people who are upset and never tell you and never come back, that…that’s when it gets bad, as a restaurant especially.

Written by
John James, M.D. is the CEO of Engine, a modern cloud-hosted ecommerce platform. I paid for medical school with an ecommerce business I founded in my dorm room over twenty years ago, and eventually raised over $100 million in venture capital running Acumen Brands. Email me -- john at enginecommerce dot com.