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How to Manage User Frustrations in Online Communities

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When you build a successful online community, there will be a few roadblocks. One ongoing issue to prepare for is user frustrations within your community. When users find bugs, glitches, or missing features, they are quick to point fingers and demand solutions. As long as you’re on top of your communications, you can reassure community members while simultaneously creating a to-do list for your internal team.

Keep communications clean and clear with frustrated users by following these simple tips.

1. Place your contact information front and center

Provide the best form of contact for solving technical issues, whether or not it’s different from the usual form of contact. Make sure it’s available in the community guidelines and make it the public answer to every technical question. Instead of personally typing out the actual response every time someone has an issue, refer them to your form of contact and respond in detail when you’re one-on-one.

2. Clarify your refund policies

Know all of your policies for returns, refunds, buyouts, discounts, and special offers. Your community is your haven of loyal fans and you don’t want to turn anyone away by ignoring that loyalty. Listen to any issues your members might have with products and services. Be sure to include your policies in the community guidelines so everyone can find them easily.

3. Allow members to act as ambassadors

Once your community members are active and engaged with each other, they’ll start to rely on each other for answers. The true leaders will even jump into action when they see a problem they can solve. If your contact information and community resources are readily available, these proactive members will voluntarily share those resources with others when needed. Let them. They’re your spokespeople and your champions. As long as your resources are up-to-date, your community members will do the right thing, help each other out, and vouch for you even before you know there’s an issue.

Contact us for more on developing a supportive interest-based community.

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