Tag Archives: Moderation

Respond Like A Human

ImageI’m not sure I have the heart to handle negative complaints that a lot of companies get, especially ones that provide a service or a product. It has to be hard to see the negativity and respond in a kind and caring way all the time. I’m sure people aren’t saying what they really want to say but turn on their professional tone and assist customers with their needs.

If I received this complaint how would I respond?

“I am disgusted about the state of your store on 1467 Justin Kings Way. The counter was smeared in what looked like grease and the tables were full of trash and remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”

My response:

“I really appreciate you making us aware of the state of our store. What you described certainly doesn’t meet our standards. I’d really like to get more information from you and make up for the situation. I will message you my contact information.”

I don’t want to be too robotic and have a standard out of the box answer. I used “I” in the response to make it more personal instead of using “we” as a company. I tried to infuse sincerity and concern while finding a way to move the conversation off social media. I wouldn’t want more details spilling out for all to see. It’s bad enough for other customers to see this complaint, so I’d want to stop the situation before it could get any worse. Hopefully the customer would comply.

How should a mainstream news network respond to this complaint when the programming was actually not one sided?

“Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your air time to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.”

My response:

“Thank you for reaching out and taking the time to provide your feedback. I’m sorry that our broadcast stirred up such negative emotions for you. This is an extremely important matter and we always want to report fairly. I’m going to remove your comment because of the language being used as it goes against our community guidelines. I will make our producers aware of your feedback.”

That was a tough response to develop. How do you respond politely to someone yet tell them you don’t think they are right. You want them to feel like their opinion matters and that you are listening. The user of a cuss word also makes for an interesting situation. If the company had community guidelines posted, then I would have every right to remove the comment but first let the person know why it is being removed. I wouldn’t want someone to think it was removed because it was negative.


How much to moderate?

While I may not use social media as a negative sounding board, that doesn’t mean that others won’t. Brands have to be ready for the good and the bad. They also have to have a policy in place for moderating all types of comments. Of course they will always be caught off guard but it is important to be at the ready.

ImageOur lecture talked about how social media is not our property, even though it may be our Facebook page. I’ve never looked at it that way. Everyone has a right to leave messages whether you agree with them or not. The last thing a brand should do is remove a comment unless it is obscene or hurting their community.

I think there are big differences in how people behave on Twitter and Facebook. I also think it depends on the end user. Someone on Twitter might blast a company with a negative tweet but the 140 character limit puts a stop to someone writing a novel about a bad experience. If someone wants to go into a lot of detail then Facebook is going to be the place to do that. I feel like negative comments on Twitter are more readily available to the public than on Facebook. With Facebook you have to dig a little to find the negativity.

I’ve not been in a situation until recently where I’ve had to moderate comments. Just this weekend I had a few fans make questionable comments and I wasn’t really sure what to do. It made me realize how handy moderation guidelines would’ve been to help know what to do about making lewd comments. One fan called another team sh*t and another fan posted a photo with text on it saying “Surprise Mother F****.” While the photo had didn’t have the offensive word typed out, you knew what it mean. It still seems like an image we wouldn’t want in our comments.

I also think it is important to remember with moderation to reward the good. I make it a point to like comments from our fans and give replies when needed to positive and negative comments. For some brands, moderation is a full-time job. The pages I manage have a reasonable amount of comments so it is easier to handle but again we need a policy in place to help steer me in the right moderation direction.