In the 1994 American romantic comedy “Forrest Gump”, there was a scene where Forrest ran through a pile of dog feces. One of his followers was shocked, but Forrest calmly said, “It happens.”

Forrest was right: Sometimes, terrible things happen. It happens in various forms, but for event planners, it usually comes in the form of bad customer experiences. One of the speakers for Singapore website design conference might have caught a flu. The venue for the convention on psychological science does not have sufficient parking lots. Murphy’s law is right: Anything that can go wrong; will go wrong. No matter how professional and diligent you are, some things are just not within your control. No one is perfect.

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Unfortunately, customer is always right, and they can now easily tell the world about your occasional slipups via social media. It is not necessarily a bad thing as negative social media reviews force us to improve, but there are a few types of negative social media reviews that serve no other purpose than being destructive:

  1. Unnecessary and unwarranted flaming and name-calling.
  2. Popular haters who complain about everything.
  3. Unscrupulous competitors posting false negative reviews.

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Worse still, these three types of reviews can be made anonymously, humiliating you with exemption from punishment.

Let us show you how you can control the damage of negative social media reviews:

Get in touch with the customer fast and fix the problem immediately.

Not all Internet users are irrational. Some might be blinded temporarily by anger and frustration, but once they have calmed down, they will be willing to cooperate with you to get their problems addressed.

Make sure that you address the issue as soon as possible because immediate actions are always appreciated, even though they may not be perfect.

Ask the customer to either delete their initial negative customer review or, better yet, add a comment that you addressed the issue.

Adding a positive comment that you have addressed the issue will be a better option as it shows other customers that you are responsive, efficient and willing to listen.

It is important to understand that your customer’s willingness to do so depends on your relationship with them. However, if they refuse to do so, you can, in a polite manner, let them know that their negative reviews are detrimental to your business.

Post your solution as a reply to the negative customer review.

If you customer insists on not removing negative comment or adding a positive comment, you might want to post a reply regarding how you addressed their issue.

Do avoid the blame game when you are posting your reply. Even if you are at the edge of losing your temper, stay calm and be courteous. Also, do not post anonymously – you want to give other customers the impression that you address the issue promptly.

If you suspect the negative review to be faked, reach out to the social media company to voice out your concerns and request for an investigation into the matter or to have the review removed.

Encourage your satisfied customers to post positive reviews.

Encourage your happy and satisfied customers to post positive reviews. This will help potential customers to realize that no one is perfect and no matter how good you are, haters will always be haters.

Just remember what Nicholas Jerry “Nick” Jonas, the American singer-songwriter, musician and actor had said: “Having haters is just a part of the business, and the more haters you have, the more people like you – that’s how I view it, because I try to see the positive in things.”

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