Story by: Erica Rascón
Turn negative feedback into opportunity
Dealing with negative feedback and difficult questions can be a test of character. When a comment points out a genuine flaw in your product or service, it can trigger excuses or a defensive response. When the comment is unnecessarily rude, you may want to formulate an equally searing comeback. Dealing with negativity is never fun, but there are ways to turn negative feedback into opportunity.
Pause. Think twice and then respond. Waiting until cooler heads prevail can help you avoid making a bad situation worse. When you respond in haste while you’re frustrated or upset, it will come across in whatever you write. It’s best to wait, cool off, and maybe take three to five minutes to explore a few response ideas before settling on one. The one that you select should cast you and your organization in the best light while addressing the heart of the problem.
Identify and analyze the problem. Sometimes the heart of the problem gets lost in the renter’s foul language and snarky remarks. Take a moment to identify the source of the problem and respond appropriately–acting as if the rest of the rant didn’t exist.
Never ignore negative feedback. While ignoring a bad attitude helps, ignoring the complaint altogether will only fuel the flames. You certainly don’t want to delete negative comments, primarily because the commenter will likely troll your account and repost repeatedly until you respond, anyway. Secondly, it will look as though you and your organization are trying to silence the voice of the people which is never a popular approach. Try to address each concern and complaint on your social media to show readers that you’re listening and ready to find solutions with your residents.
Arguments are best resolved one-on-one. Rather than going back and forth in the comments section, end your initial reply with an invitation to communicate one-on-one. Leave your contact information (or the contact info for the appropriate person who can address the concern if it isn’t you). This will minimize drama on your dashboard while showing readers that you care about residents and their concerns.
Let facts speak for themselves. If a comment is based in half-truths or misinformation, your response should include accurate information and the necessary resources to back up your stance. Not only will this address the current issue but it may also answer questions for others who have similar concerns in the future.