A tough decision for most anyone, or any brand with a semi-public persona, is how to respond to criticism, complaints and flame.
Last April, Tim Ferris shared his 7 principles for dealing with haters. These tips are great for dealing at a personal level, but when addressing as a brand, some other guidelines are useful . . .
Seven guidelines for determining response to criticism online:
- If there is a product support issue or anything that requires discussion, move the conversation to a private medium, but publicly acknowledge that you are taking care of the issue
- Correct a factual error or clear up confusion by responding with a link to an online resource. Don’t correct the person directly, instead suggest they check out your site for more info
- Don’t engage publicly if there is a chance that the issue could escalate publicly.
- Remember, everything you share will end up back on their blog or shared through Twitter or Facebook.
- Do converse with them in a human manner. It’s much harder to get upset at a person than a brand.
- Monitor your key networks to see if the issue pops up again or in the same place or in other channels.
- Treat this person as an important customer. Consider adding him or her to an advocate program if you have one. If you don’t have one, consider creating one.