Responding to Public Praise or Criticism

Responding to Public Praise or Criticism

Recently, I received a request from the Small Business Administration to evaluate service I received from over two years ago! What an embarrassingly long time to pass before demonstrating they cared about the service I received. Yet many venues do precisely that when they build Facebook landing pages then neglect the pages and feedback provided by their customers. These months-stale sites translate into lost opportunities, and potential users won't have reason to come back, so work at keeping your site fresh.

Your users appreciate being acknowledged, so make sure you respond quickly. Celebrate those who give kudos to your organization, and take the time to "retweet" their comments or feed your future business pipeline with an appropriate response. If a customer enjoyed a show, band, or even drink selection, point them to an upcoming event, steer them towards a similar offering, or tie in a discount offer.

Now, a caveat to these public declarations is that even your detractors have a voice. Turn negative feedback into a positive experience with proper handling. Don't push back defensively, but DO make sure you:

  • Apologize when appropriate. Saying "Sorry" paves the road to winning back a customer.
  • Correct the mistake. Tell your customer the specific measures you've taken to address the very thing that elicited the negative feedback.
  • Offer redress to your customer. This can be in the form of a refund, the promise of a "comped" ticket in the future, or a coupon.
  • Use appropriate grammar and sincere voice.
  • Especially when you're feeling flustered, have someone proofread your response to ensure you use a positive tone.


Effective and positive responses to negative experiences will demonstrate customer commitment. And don't be surprised to see a fan praise you for your handling of delicate situations giving you a double dose of goodness.

Social networking is a powerful tool, but must use diligent effort in order to maximize your potential. This is time consuming, but ask any organization with hundreds or thousands of fans, and they will tell you the time is worth it. So, make your move. The world is waiting.