How We Handle Bad Comments

Photo from @thehayleycakes one of my favorites!

Alright, I’ve been hesitant to write on this one because of the fact that everyone has different opinions on how to handle these situations and every situation is different. This is specifically written for handling random internet bullies that pop up when you promote your company. I’m curious how others handle these situations, but I’m also if anyone else is like me.

First off, bad comments (or reviews) can make someone want to not keep going as a company. You can get 100 people raving about your product or service and that one person that didn’t like what you do can be the one that just sticks there in your mind for days, weeks!

But, you need to see an internet bully in a different light. The fact that you have internet bullies means that you are reaching a LOT of people. For us, one comment comes in for every 10,000+ people we promote toward, and sometimes less.

If you’re anything like me, you’re incredibly passionate about your product so when someone random comments and cuts you, saying “That’s expensive!”, “That’s totally not worth it!”, “You’re a fraud”, “You’re criminal to charge this much.”, “It’s not even that cute.” or other heart wrenching mean things, it can really ruin your whole day! It can make you less motivated as a company and make you want to give up entirely. From only a few people!

So… What do we do? Simple. We delete bad comments and when needed, we try to handle them privately and then we “restrict” those people that are not very nice, or block when we have to.

What is Restricting? It’s a setting on Instagram that doesn’t fully “block” them but stops a bully from being able to comment publicly on your profile without your approval.

Now, when I say that I handle them privately, this is only if there is a valid question that they have. And I say delete because the comment section is not a place to have a long conversation with customers. It is best to take issues privately and help people with kindness.

If they say something off the wall like “That’s so expensive! You have got to be kidding me!” I ignore it and I don’t take it to a private conversation. Why? Because that person is not looking at my whole brand, and not reading value, and not on board with what we do and they’re probably just having a bad day. There are many other companies that they can support instead they will like and so I don’t even engage because they don’t want a conversation. They have not actually asked a question and only have their thoughts and feelings.

To prove this, this week I tried to engage with such a person, at the end of my kind conversation of explaining ourselves, everything I had to say that was nice she ignored, and nit picked everything she could to make me feel bad. Ouch!!!

Some people want to see you fail. 

And the way they treat you is only a fraction of how they treat themselves. They’re complete strangers and they are just projecting their insecurities onto you. Some get happiness out of others failing so they can succeed better. Or they get happiness out of saying mean things, but they won’t feel good for long. 

Why do they do this? Many reasons. Sometimes they’re not a nice person, but one reason that someone degrades a product is because they want to get a good deal.

For example, my dad, an incredible potter, tells this story of traveling to various art shows across the US in the 1970s, and at one art show this lady came up to him and said something like this, “$100! Are you KIDDING ME!? That’s SO EXPENSIVE! MAYBE $40.”

My dad being the kind person he is calmly let her know the piece was still $100.

“You know I could buy this down the road at $30, $40 is a great price, and I can’t BELIEVE you would charge this much. How do you sleep at night!”

He could have gone into the quality of the pottery and how it takes him days, weeks, to make one piece, but she didn’t ask him about that and she would have just found more mean things to say. Instead he said calmly, “It’s $100.”

The lady walked into other areas of the booth huffing and another couple came up and picked up the piece and asked how much. My dad told them and they said oh great.

The lady marched across the booth and RIPPED the piece out of their hands! “THAT’S MINE!” she said, and handed my dad $100 bill.

He said “Ok great, that’ll be $107.” She looked shocked. He said “plus tax of course” and smiled.

The point of this story he said is that some people are just really mean and they do it to get a discount. They’ll say mean things and you do NOT need to get onto their level.

Please note again though, I’m referring to complete strangers on the internet. If a customer were to say they were dissatisfied, like in my case, the rare person that came to a market and didn’t see anything they wanted, I quickly refund them and we’re done. It takes more time to argue and fight something than to just move on with your life. In this scenario though, there is no need to keep a comment public for all the other people that love your brand to see, that’s why I take our conversation private.

Some do keep the comments there, and they keep on posting. That is one way to go. Keep moving too fast for their bad vibes to catch you! But you will never see a brand engaging with such comments.

I try my best to quietly get people out of my area so I can focus on what I love and mean comments and things aren’t hanging there forever. I’d rather go find 100 people that like me and get them to review or comment than dwell on that 1 mean person.

So how do you handle these situations? 

Let me know below what you think! Also, if you don’t delete/restrict, how do you mentally handle the negativity hanging there?

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