I do not want to remove this member from the community, however, I’m open to suggestions/experiences in handling negativity within a community!
Have you been in the above situation? Every community manager at some point of time faces the above situation.
5 ideas on how to handle a community member who shows their passion through sting language
Here are my thoughts:
- One on one engagement might solve it completely. Meet in person or Pick the phone, yeah I know it sounds old fashioned, but it often gets to the heart of the matter the fastest. Or If phone isn’t feasible then go the email route.
- Do you have a policy in place for the community about how you expect members to communicate? Now might be a good time to put it in place and point it to the membership overall. In fact make sure there is available an easy way for members to communicate back to the Community Manager(CM) about issues with other members. This way it becomes easier to approach the person saying not just you, but other members are also having an issue.
- Don’t make it personal, sometimes in a rush people don’t realize that they’re being too critical or harsh. So when you connect one-on-one give them examples of how they could have responded to be more valuable to the person they were responding or by saying what they did. Give them examples, showing how they could have responded in each case.
Other considerations (If you as the community manager are new to the position):
4. The easiest way at times might be not for the manager, but a senior member of the community or a friend of the miscreant to do the one-on-one communication. The idea being that when a peer communicates sometimes that’s more effective than someone senior (a.k.a. community manager).
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5. Ensureyour community platform has a ratings engine, that way the community can self-moderate and down rate members who are unhelpful, too critical, or just stingy :-)
Finally, there are times when you need to take stronger action(removal of the member, legal, etc.) however, the points given here are especially for the situation given in the introductory paragraph, where the member uses stingy language. Simply taking the initiative to immediately talk to the concerned member usually goes a long way in solving the issue.
What has worked for you? How have you handled negative/problem community members? Would you stop being a consumer and share — yeah I know I’m asking you to stretch and share… but please do share in the comments below.