Malicious Reviews and Angry Comments
This is the real world, and people get upset — sometimes much more than they should, and sometimes at the wrong people. If somebody mass-comments on all your Facebook posts to complain about your customer service, or how UPS didn’t deliver when they said they would so it must be your fault, try first to imagine how they’re feeling. While these outbursts may not be warranted, ignoring the emotions behind them can make your customers think you don’t care.
You might be at fault — maybe your customer service does need improving — so don’t discount this feedback just because the comment was written in all caps.
If a review or comment is verbally abusive, remove or ignore it. If the tone is rude, reply as if it was polite — make it clear that you have taken their comments on board and are sorry that their experience wasn’t as good as it could have been.
There are two main types of trolls — the obvious, abusive kind, and the kind that disguises itself as a genuine customer. When dealing with the latter, it’s safest to treat them like they’re not trolling. Is this person genuinely furious that your iPhone app doesn’t work on their Windows tablet? Maybe. But calling out probable trolls is like asking a woman when her baby's due — it's usually not worth the risk.
The abusive kind of troll should be ignored and their comments deleted. Trolls are bullies, and they provoke you because they want a reaction. Don’t give them one — not for their sake, but because your genuine customers won’t be impressed by a retaliation.
Threats and Cyber Bullying
You should never have to tolerate threatening or abusive behavior — not online, and not in the real world. If somebody had been persistently stalking you in real life, you’d call the police. If somebody threatened to kill your family, you’d call the police.
On-going threatening behavior should be taken just as seriously online. Keep a log of any messages from cyber bullies, and if you genuinely fear for your safety, contact law enforcement. Use your judgement here. The authorities don’t need to know about somebody criticising your hairstyle, but if someone is threatening to rape or kill you, you wouldn’t be wasting police time by letting them know.
Readers: what are your tips for dealing with online haters? Leave a comment to let us know!