Every company has them – people who like your Facebook page and then challenge your business’ reputation. Let’s discuss how you can handle these situations by turning a negative into a positive one that is potentially good for your business.

No business is perfect, and despite your best efforts, an irate customer will occasional make inflammatory remarks on your page. What is the key to dealing with a disgruntled customer on the Internet? You need to have a reputation manager to respond quickly to any negative feedback. Simply deleting the post isn’t an acceptable response. If customers find out that you are editing or removing complaints, it won’t help your business reputation. They’ll simply wonder how many more complaints are out there that have never been heard. Make sure to be kind in the response and refer the complaint to the proper customer service channels by replying with a phone number or e-mail address. Make sure everyone knows that your contact page also has this information. That does two things. It gives other upset clients the message that they should contact you directly with problems. It also discredits the complainer as just trying to make noise when there is a clear way to resolve their issue. At the same time, by being kind, you may help to diffuse the situation a little so your customer service rep doesn’t get such an earful.

Then there are unfortunately people who may use your company to get on their soap box and make public service announcements. It may not be something that is only specific to your business, but they may try to generalize complaints about business tactics, environmental issues, and even religious or political controversies. These comments can be difficult to handle. The best thing to do is avoid controversy in the first place, but if your business has been pulled in, perhaps by a public statement that should have been kept private, it may be time to contact an experienced PR consultant. For an individual message, just respond kindly, thanking the person for their concerns. People should see that you take the complaint seriously.

Sometimes a customer advocate may step in to respond to these comments on their own. Engage the positive-speaking commenter in conversation to turn the thread to something beneficial. Be sure to reward enthusiastic fans for their brand loyalty.