Running a successful online community inherently means there will be some nay-saying. It’s not the end of the world, but there are some reliable ways to deal with it. Learning what to expect from your community and how to manage complaints within your online community is important. Listening and responding quickly are always your best bet, but let’s get more specific.
These are three common voices that speak out within online communities and here’s how to handle them.
1. The Loudmouth
Okay, this one’s a bit obvious but it’s a major one. When a member loudly, publicly, and angrily complains about anything related to your community it’s time to act fast. Delaying or not checking in frequently will only anger the loudmouth more. Resist the urge to give excuses. Respond both publicly and privately, so he or she gets the attention sought out and also a cohesive answer and promise of resolution in private. Then fix the issue or listen in for more details. Swift action and attention to detail are usually all it takes to calm that member down.
2. The Highroller
These members pay the big bucks and expect the royal treatment. If you’re selling high-end goods or services, these voices are more common within those communities. Again, they’re not interested in excuses though they’ll usually be more cordial about voicing their complaints. Speed and clarity are important. Make them feel like a top client. Use your language and maybe even a small gift of thanks. It shows you’ll always go above and beyond for your best clients and this mistake will never happen again.
3. The Bargainer
This member is always looking for a quick buck (or free one!). They’re complaining specifically to win something for free or get a discount. Don’t give in if that’s not the way you conduct business. Stay empathetic to the complaints, but don’t engage in emotional conversation with this member.
Listen, show you care, and always stay positive when sharing your updates and insight with your community. Genuine compassion goes a long way.
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