Angry forum posters.

It’s going to happen eventually. You’ll have an unhappy customer and this customer will go to a forum to complain about your company. It’s been done with basically every consumer company in existence, especially Internet companies. So the question is how do you deal with it when a customer posts a hateful message?

Stay calm.
First and foremost, stay calm and don’t start flipping out. Don’t tell your customer that’s he an idiot, a pain, or whatever – just be sure to stay calm, cool, and collected.

If possible, stay private.
The perfect way to do these is to acknowledge the problem, and then deal with it privately. That way, the issue doesn’t become a public argument and you can deal with the issue in a responsible way.

Post something like:

Hi there,

I apologize for any inconveniences you may have experienced with our company. Could you please email me at name@company.com so we can work out this issue privately?

I appreciate your patience and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
NAME
Company

You’re showing concern and apologizing, but still dealing with the issue privately.

Then, deal with the problem.
Not much explanation needed. Stay calm, and don’t say anything you will regret if it’s posted by the angry customer publicly. Chances are if it doesn’t go the customer’s way, he or she will post everything, or even worse, select parts that could be misinterpreted.

Post the results.
When you’re done and have hopefully resolved the issue, ask the customer to post what happened. Ask them to post something like “Company A gave me a credit and I’m happy now. Thanks!” If they won’t post it, or say they will and then don’t, go post the results yourself. Make sure what you post is factual and you have proof that it was done.

Ask the topic to be closed.
If possible, contact a moderator at the web site the issue was posted at and ask them to close the topic since it has been resolved. Most places will, but some won’t. Just be nice and offer to provide any proof necessary.

Follow-up.
Be sure to follow-up with the angry customer in a few weeks and make sure that they’re happy.

Now you know what to do if there’s an angry customer posting about you publicly. On Monday, we’ll start a series on dealing with angry customers in different situations.

8 Responses to “Angry forum posters.”

  1. Glenn Ross said:

    May 12, 06 at 6:28 pm

    Excellent points. Most of the time customers just want to know that someone is listening, then attempting to resolve the issue.

  2. Maria Palma said:

    May 16, 06 at 3:32 am

    I recently had this experience at my blog and boy, was it a little bit stressful 🙂 I followed the “Count To 10” rule and calmly stated my views in the most polite way that I could. Nothing gets accomplished when you become angry too!

  3. Service Untitled » Robert Stephens Understands Blogs - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Apr 06, 07 at 11:41 am

    […] For some more reading, check out this post about responding to angry forum (and it works with bloggers, too) posters. « Car Dealer Customer Service Tips   […]

  4. Service Untitled » yourcompanysucks.com - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Jun 22, 07 at 10:55 am

    […] I’ve posted about how to deal with angry forum posters before. Dealing with yourcompanysucks.com sites is very similar. […]

  5. ememjammer said:

    Sep 24, 07 at 12:42 pm

    So I was off work and surfing and found this place and thought I would join up. I don’t have much more to say right now except I need to start reading some of the older posts to get up to speed before I can start posting.

    Em

  6. Posters said:

    Sep 17, 08 at 5:05 am

    Thank you for posting these amazing pieces! Such a joy to look through! So many favorites!

  7. graiptinhag said:

    Oct 05, 08 at 3:51 pm

    Hi, everybody!

    I think, that this is a great forum. Very intresting and useful.
    But I can’t find the search function, cause I want faster find the topics that could be intresting for me to express my opinion…
    Please help me with search function on this forum!

  8. Service Untitled said:

    Oct 05, 08 at 4:34 pm

    There is a search box near the bottom of the page on the right. 🙂