Because I am in my line of work, I see a lot of comments for a tremendous amounts of businesses. These comments come in a variety of ways: social media messenger, contact forms, comments on posts, reviews, etc. And for better or worse, sending these comments over a digital media, there seems to be no filter at all. I’m guessing many of you are familiar with the Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets where the celebrity reads aloud things that have been written about them. While the celebrities roasted are good sports about it, they are really, really mean comments. And I have a feeling that most of the amateur authors would have never said that to the person if they had to do it in person.
When a business receives a really mean message, it seems like the instinct should be to ignore it. File it away as garbage no one should read. And while I definitely think a business should take it with a grain of salt, I think it would be a poor choice to ignore it. Raw, unfiltered comments are a gift in a way. Getting real feedback from actual customers gives the business unique perspective that they can use to make it better. They shouldn’t be ignored. But using them well needs tact.
If my business got nasty comments on something we developed, and I, in turn, forwarded that comment to the developers that worked so hard to make that product, it would be demotivating. So as the business owner, it’s my job to read the comment and look for truth. Is there something we could have done better? Is there a flaw? Is there opportunity? And then provide actionable coaching and training to those that impact the customers to give a better overall experience.
While it’s hard to take mean comments and find actionable improvement ideas, they are there if you look for them. And some people are just mean for no reason – you can ignore those. 🙂