Don't Run Away from Negative Feedback

it's not always a bad thing..

Anyone who works in Customer Service will often give a wry smile when someone who doesn't decides to have a look on a Facebook wall or dip their toe in a forum to just "see what people are saying".
Usually, this involves the person running away screaming, thankful that people are paid to keep the crazy away from their door.

They key about negative feedback is that above all, it shows that you have people who are passionate about your product to take a few moments of their time, sign up to a forum, maybe tweak an avatar, and then spill their guts at you until they press send.

It's a one-off vent fest of passion and ire that if it happened in the real world, would be the equivalent of performing a dance in public and then letting the audience come up and slap you in the face and then walk off again.

How could this possibly be useful?

Well, for starters, you know how they feel about your art piece.

Knowledge is most definitely power in this case.

More often than not, this kind of feedback is never proof-read. I myself have been guilty of wanting to dismiss poorly-spelled comments, ones that use txtspk or are just full of swears as "well they clearly don't know anything". They don't need to know. They just need to feel good or bad about the product you're providing them. That's enough to guage how your product is doing.

You can use the negative reaction to contemplate where you went wrong, what you could do better. You can also, luckily in these digital realms, answer back and be able to enter into a dialogue with these anger-mongers, perhaps persuade some to be a bit more articulate on the 2nd attempt, to tell you in words exactly what bit they didn't like and why.

Behind every awful slur, SHOUT, rant and rave is the kernal of a way that you can make things better.

Sometimes, people have a bad day and want someone to take it out on, or want to prove to other anonymous people they are more witty and intelligent than an entire company who create and publish a product. It never pays as a community moderator to engage these people- you will rarely get the last word unless it is a BanHammer but knowing the difference between an engaged and angry customer, and someone who is simply trolling you is the gift that will keep on giving.

Respect the negative feedback and your audience will respect you for handling it with grace and an inquisitive nature.


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