How to deal with trolls
It's a new age, and a new age brings along new creatures. Well, in this instance, the new age is bringing back old creatures - Trolls. Yes, trolls! They can be a handful, especially if they're attacking your business through reviews or social media. At some point, you'll need to understand how to deal with trolls in order to protect yourself. Sometimes they can be ignored, but you'll want to be sure you put an end to your troll.
How to deal with trolls Step 1: Analyze the situation
Before responding to a troll, gather all the information you can to be better prepared to neutralize the situation. This means pulling up any internal data, from previous transactions or customer transcriptions. This step is a must to knowing how to deal with trolls.
By gathering internal data, you will get an idea of who your troll is and why they're trolling you. Additionally, you won't look entirely lost when responding. If there are no previous records of exchanges between your business and your troll - analyze what they're commenting on. For example, if your troll is commenting on a video you posted, review the video. Look for anything that may come off as offensive, untrue, or out of place. Then, compare it to what your trolls claim.
When you start learning how to deal with trolls, it's important to remember to look inwards first. This way, you can rid the issue immediately if any exists. In time, you will learn that trolls don't usually pose a threat to your business; however, it is important to proceed with caution.
How to deal with Trolls Step 2: Deep Dive on your troll
Next, you want to view your troll. That's right if someone is trolling you I don't see any issue with clicking their name to see their profile. If they agreed to make their Facebook, or Instagram profile public, it's not illegal to view their page. The only thing you're looking for on their page is their influence. The question you should ask yourself is, "Does my troll have a large following?" Most times they don't. Which is reasonable, people of influence don't have much time to troll businesses online.
How to Deal with Trolls Step 3: Finishing Move
If you've found your troll doesn't have a large audience, doesn't have any previous records with your business, doesn't have any concrete claim or reason to be trolling you, you can ignore them. There is no need to feed a troll.
However, if you've found your troll experienced an issue with their order - you want to publicly address this. For example, someone is stating they, "received a damaged item." You can address it with something like this, "I apologize for the inconvenience. Could you message me your order number so I can take a look, and see what we can do to fix this?"
With that comment, you did a number of things. First, you made it publicly visible that you're going to fix this issue. Second, you've prompted your troll to take the discussion to a more private place. You don't want to have customer service transcriptions on a public forum, and you don't want other viewers to think you would leave a complaining customer unnoticed.
Now you know how to deal with trolls
After you've completed the above steps, you could effectively diffuse any troll situations that come your way. It's highly unlikely that trolls would lead to the need for a public apology by a CEO. Though these things can happen! Have a look at H&M and the monkey hoody ordeal. They posted offensive content and it resulted in a viral troll session. It's important to be genuinely connected to today's culture in order to prevent situations like H&M's.
If you've experienced any trolls before, let me know how you've dealt with them in the comments below. Or if you need help dealing with a troll leave a comment in the comment box. And of course, if you have any questions about how to deal with trolls, ask away!