How to Handle Negative Criticism on the Internet
One of the most important factors in gaining new customers is what others think of us. Most consumers, before buying a product or hiring a service, will read the opinions and reviews of the other users. Unfortunately, although our business is the best in the world, what always appears is the so-called trolls and negative reviews. Let’s see how we should handle them.
What is a troll?
In the language of the Internet, a troll characterizes a message, a debate or a person whose objective is to generate controversy. It is not far from the image of evil and unfortunate creature, and a troll usually hides behind the screen to distribute its poison unjustifiably and harm a brand, company or person.
Internet, Social Networks and blogs have always been defenders of the rights of expression and this is the main reason why it is very difficult to avoid a troll.
Why do trolls exist?
You have just started your business, your audience is very receptive and everything seems to be going like clockwork, but there comes a troll who devotes all his soul to stain your reputation and denigrate your work. Why? Well, because the world is not a perfect place. Your success is envious and you will have to know how to keep quiet so as not to waste time and effort on people who don’t deserve it. People do not like that something is not to our liking, and trolls are a perfect example. But, maybe, in the end, having a troll isn’t so bad…
If your company is involved, for example, in telecommunications, which sells other companies services such as virtual PBX, or Call Center software, you will probably have numerous trolls behind you, that want to destroy your reputation.
They will use the techniques of comparison with other telecommunications companies, they will say that they have made use of your services and that they are not up to the task, etc. But you have to know how to turn the situation around and give a response so that it looks like a positive criticism.
Are negative criticisms positive?
There are different types of criticism on the web: it can range from malicious criticism that is made to harm the company, to constructive criticism that indirectly improves its image. In any case, you should know how to handle criticism or a negative comment on the Internet. The trace of your good or bad reaction will remain for life on the Internet, so you better be careful.
Steps to follow:
The first thing you have to do is breathe and relativize. Always think that criticism can be favorable to you and become an opportunity. The main mistake made by beginners is to hide or even delete the negative comment on the web, and this is not the way to go. You have to face the criticism even if it is more or less justified.
Give a quick answer. Before the silence, the nerves rise and your troll will only duplicate his efforts so that the world knows his bad experience. As long as two or three people are agreeing with the same thing, not answering will make room for a chain of ‘me too’.
Don’t get carried away. Some comments may not be respectful. Don’t be trapped. Take a deep breath and try to put yourself in the place of your interlocutor. Education is one of the bases for maintaining a quality relationship with customers. Be as friendly as possible. The troll may focus on your problem and not value it, but others will appreciate the patience with a person of bad faith.
Types of trolls:
Once the general attitude has been clarified, we will make a small focus on the different types of trolls you can find on the web and the best way to deal with each of them.
The Arrogant Trolls
The arrogant trolls are little spies hidden in the shadows, ready to do anything to prove that they know everything better than the others. In general, their first comments are not negative. They seem to be interested in a product, service or publication by asking fairly easy questions. Little by little, the questions become more and more specific and that’s where you are expected to attack. These types of trolls are experts in their field and are very pretentious. The only purpose of their comments is to show that they are better than you, and if they can destroy you along the way, believe us, they will.
To answer the proud trolls, don’t ignore them, or else they will bother you. Answer as quickly as possible, politely, trying to avoid the traps you have left. If they attack you, it’s because the arrogant trolls see you as a competition. So trust your knowledge.
The Envious Trolls
The envious trolls are unpleasant and bitter individuals who, faced the success of others, spit out their poison. If your products are successful, your publications are commented very positively or if you have a famous blog, the envious troll will be there to ruin your moment. In the slightest detail, his jealousy will take over his reason and negative comments will merge.
Against envious trolls, the ideal is not to respond to provocation. Each of their responses will lead to another because these types of trolls are professionals in the practice of the dead language. Before reacting to an envious troll, remember that ‘ignorance is the worst contempt’.
The Amateur Trolls
An amateur troll bothers for pleasure. His negative comments are not motivated by jealousy or the desire to appear. These people are simply critics. They like to leave comments that destroy you for no reason, just for the sake of harming.
Amateur trolls are not used to follow a real conversation. In general, they spit out their poison and don’t come back. To handle these negative comments, take your patience and respond something basic to make it look good, such as: ‘We are sorry our article/product/service is not to your liking. Thank you for coming back’.
If you are subject to valid negative comments, or not, know that you are not the only one. In addition to following our tips for managing these comments, you will need patience.
Two or three trolls are nothing compared to billions of people on the network. If your response is appropriate, these small inconveniences will become charms for your customers or potential readers.
Now you have the weapons to fight these trolls that bother you. Take advantage of this opportunity and respond by demonstrating your tact, your elegance and especially your professionalism.