If you put yourself out there, you’re going to catch some flack from time to time.
But how you respond to it is critical if you want to protect your company’s reputation.
Here’s my checklist for 5 things you absolutely need to do when responding to the haters.
1. Thank the person for their comment.
Whether you like what this person has to say or not, you and your organization will grow from it.
With that said, always thank the individual for taking the time to leave the comment. It also communicates to on-lookers that you are not afraid of healthy dialogue, and it will make them feel that you are genuinely interested in what they think as well.
2. Empathize with their pain.
Again, whether you agree with them or not, their pain point is their reality. You are not going to be able to convince them out of how they feel.
The most caring thing to do is to simply empathize with their experience and to acknowledge that your desire is to ensure that no customer/client feels the way they do.
This makes the person feel heard, and it also communicates to the rest of your audience that you’re here to serve, not to be served.
3. Apologize for what you can genuinely own.
Sometimes, you really didn’t do anything wrong.
Sometimes, you royally screwed up. Either way, there’s always some level apology you can make and forgiveness you can ask for, even if the apology is simply for the lack of understanding that has taken place.
By the way, be genuine. People can smell insincerity a mile away. It’s not about manipulating people with your “sorry”, but it’s about humbling yourself where you really can.
Remember, humility is attractive.
4. Clarify what’s appropriate.
This can get a little hairy. That’s why I threw in the words “when it’s appropriate.”
Sometimes we can miss the point of humbling ourselves altogether and can turn the conversation into proving why we’re right and why the other person is wrong.
This NEVER ends well.
If there was a misunderstanding, you are free to clarify it in a way that’s appropriate (and particularly brief), but be careful not to frame it as if you’re trying to make the other person look like an idiot. It’ll come back to bite you.
Instead, pursue an opportunity to win them back with the final step…
5. Invite them into a deeper private conversation.
This is about diffusing all tension and everybody’s ego. When individuals (or companies) get into public arguments online, those discussions can take the form of what feels like a digital school yard fight. Everybody’s circled around and rooting their party on by liking their comments. It’s a perfect opportunity for anybody’s pride to get bruised and for everybody to say something they regret. Instead, invite them into a private conversation where you can find a solution to accommodate their disappointment. Not everybody will take you up on this, but those that do will feel seen and valued because you did everything you could to give them all your attention.
So there you have it. Hope this helps! And if it doesn't, feel free to tell me so in the comments ;).
-Kap | CEO of rveal media