I don’t put together too many life improvement advice posts on my blog, but to be able to receive a negative comment with grace and respect for the person voicing their opinion, even if at times that opinion is hurtful or entirely unconstructive is something bloggers and everyone in general should have in their skill set.
I’ve had experience with dealing with unhappy people, having worked in retail in my teens, took a course at uni that included customer service and management techniques, dealt with customers in my previous employment positions and I receive and respond to comments on a daily basis with my blog and social media.
Your first instance may be to defend, defend, defend, its human nature. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t stand up for yourself if someone is saying nasty things to you, but there is a difference between personal attacks and professional comments of dissatisfaction.
Here are my tips for dealing with negative comments online.
1. Take a moment to CALM DOWN and breath. Its never a good idea to respond when you’re angry. Give yourself a moment to collect your thoughts before responding.
2. LISTEN to what they are saying, try to really deconstruct their comment and take note of the key points.
3. EMPATHISE with them and LET THEM KNOW YOU’VE LISTENED to what they have said. Sometimes that’s all they want, for someone to listen. If you take the time to listen and understand their point of view they will respect you for it, and you might actually learn something as well.
4. ADMIT WHEN YOU’RE WRONG. Customer’s aren’t always right, but neither are you. Being honest goes a long way and if you’re in the wrong or have made a mistake own up to it.
5. TONE AND POSITIVE LANGUAGE. If you’re responding via email or online you have to be very careful on your tone as it can be easily misinterpreted. You can say the same response in multiple ways, one could come across aggressive and blunt, and another could make them feel comfortable and heard. Focus on the positives and finding them a solution, which leads me to my final point.
6. Try to FIND A SOLUTION to their problem. Thats why they are commenting in the first place, because they have a problem, its your job to find a solution or at least let them know that you have tried.
When to Delete a comment.
Negativity breeds negativity and sometimes its actually better to delete a comment altogether. I leave up 99.9% of all my comments, but my rule is to delete anything that is purely a personal attack and has no constructive criticism whatsoever.
I hope this has helped in someway. Thinking like this before I respond to negative comments on my blog has really helped me over the years. And if nothing else convinces you, remember that your followers wont recall your polite replies, but they certainly will remember if you aggressively reply to someone’s comment. You are representing your brand at all times and you should comment with grace and respect and always being the bigger person. If all else fails ‘lets agree to disagree’ or ‘each to their own’ will politely close a conversation if there is no way you can come to an agreement. I would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any other advice!