Seth Godin wrote a post on how to deal with an angry customer. Let’€™s blogify!
Acknowledge the anger, Seth writes. It sure goes for angry commenters on your blog as well. They’€™re not angry by chance; you made them pissed off, so there’€™s probably something to learn from their reaction.
Talk more quietly and slowly, Seth writes. Hard in the comments surely, but you can at least use small words, be nice and concise, not elaborate your answers too much. You’€™ll just make it all more tangled.
Ask the person what it takes for them not to be angry, Seth writes. Then Seth thinks you should repeat what it takes, in your own words, to meet their demands straight on. That doesn’€™t really apply to a blog so just make sure you know why they’€™re angry and if you really did something wrong then correct it, their style if possible. That shows you’€™re flexible. Yep, I actually took point 3-6 in Seth’€™s list here. After all, he’€™s talking customers!
The basic point is that you need to change the dynamics of the angry commenter (in our case). By meeting the onslaught on a civilized manner you’€™ll quench the fire on any possible flame war as well as show that you’€™re listening to your readers. Did you actually screw up and correct your mistake this way, then all who’€™s watching will think you handled it nicely and get renewed respect for your work. Admitting you’€™re wrong isn’€™t always a bad thing, that’€™s something a lot of people need to be reminded off.
That is, if you’€™re wrong. If you get an angry commenter that’€™s totally out there, then you shouldn’€™t fuzz too much with him. Behave, but don’€™t back down unless you should. But that goes without saying, right?
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.