- a) Delete the comment – if you can?
- b) Ignore the comment?
- c) Set your supporters on them?
- d) Block the user and report them as spam?
- e) Attempt to engage them in conversation?
The answer is in fact e), with the proviso that if you then find you are dealing with a Troll a combination of options a) to d) may then be appropriate. We'll explain more about Troll handling in a future blog post.
Lets assume we aren't dealing with a Troll but a person with a real grievance, and see that whilst options a) to e) might be tempting they really aren't the best course of action for your organisation:
- a) Deleting comments runs the risk of being called out. Should that catch on, not only they but others are likely to join in to draw attention to your actions.
- b) Ignoring the comment, especially if it is in a comment stream like you’d find on Facebook can actually amplify the problem as the lack of response will be public.
- c) Mob rule? Save this one for the Trolls, do not abuse your client’s loyalty and they may just rise to the occasion when you really need them.
- d) This is as drastic as throwing someone out of a shop and banning them for life, in front of other customers. Do you really want to do that?
So how do you engage with someone who has made a negative comment? Follow these five easy steps:
- Acknowledge their negative feelings
- Be positive and reassuring in your response
- Clarify the issue and resolve if possible
- Don’t Panic!
- Explain how you will help them, or how they can help themselves
No matter how trivial a problem may seem to you, remember you are just one of the many experiences that life throws at people everyday. Don’t take it personally and treat that person how you would like to be treated if you were having a bad day.
But why take the time and effort, does this really matter in the end when you need to make sales?
Many years ago, before the internet, it was well know in business spheres that a person who had a good experience with a company would only tell around half as many people as when they had a bad experience with a company. However, those who had a bad experience that was dealt with professionally and courteously would tell even more people about how great an organisation was.
Fast forward to today, with the power of social networks amplifying these behaviours a hundred-fold if not more, it's worth taking the time to protect your organisation’s reputation and play the long game when it comes to customer retention. We actually recommend running searches to ensure you can step in to help those who might not be having the positive experience you hope they would with your product or services.
If you don’t have the time, we can make the effort for you.