A Guide to the Proper Care & Feeding of Internet Trolls: Review Management & Responses

Every business gets the occasional bad review or upset customer.  Responding and addressing the concern is important, but what do you do when it crosses the line?

It’s a good idea to have a generalized statement on your business Facebook page, and other social media accounts, to let your customers know that the page will not tolerate abuse, profanity, threats, or spam.  This does not mean, however, that a business should censor and remove all negative comments and complaints on their page.Don't Feed The Trolls

Instead, develop responses that use facts, politeness, and empathy towards your customers.  It shows that your brand takes them and their concerns seriously.  Best case scenario, you address the problem, give a solution, and successfully win the customer over again!

When someone crosses the line, and uses profane language, or threatens the business or person in the business, you do not have to show the same level of tolerance.  Your first step should be to delete or hide any inappropriate comments and then leave a comment briefly stating that the page has a policy to allow criticism, but will not tolerate profanity, abuse, and slander.  Lastly, attempt to contact the upset customer through a private conversation.  Asking for an email or phone number to address them more personally and directly, is good practice.

Should the person cause further issue on the page or use the private message to continue their inappropriate behavior, report the person and block or ban them from your page.  This will not stop them from complaining elsewhere, but it will prevent them from creating further disturbance on your page and possibly creating negative impressions among other customers.

In some cases, brands will engage humorously with their less vicious trolls.  If you decide to be this type of administrator just be careful and know that your responses will likely end up as screenshots and posted across social media, possibly even going viral.  One great example is @Wendy’s on Twitter; to check it out click the following link.http://www.dailydot.com/unclick/wendys-twitter-burn/

Just remember, you want your page to be welcoming to all those who may visit your page.  You also don’t want to appear that your business can’t take the odd negative comment or criticism.  Adweek says it best, “Whether it’s a lively ‘swinging from the chandeliers’ bash, an amiable coffee klatch or a sedate conversation over a game of chess, your customers and fans deserve to feel comfortable and safe from abuse.”