• While I agree it’s a good idea to not let a little negative feedback get to you – it’s inevitable, after all – I think I’d agree with you on the importance of making the pleasant attempt to resolve the situation a public affair.

    There’s just no pleasing some people. If you’re going the extra mile to make things right, everyone else needs to see it. It’s only fair.

    • I agree, it’s important to keep your eye on the negatives just in case it comes up en masse. You never know when a negative appointment becomes the first of many. Then there are times when I am very glad I ignored a negative comment.

  • You stink! [Actually, you don’t. Just checking the theory.]

  • Agree; will always respond publicly, even if “moving it offline.” If it goes on and on, then I’ll ignore, but the public can see what happens and why a reply eventually is not forthcoming. It almost always helps the “brand.”

    • Yes, and it’s definitely for the benefit of the lurker and not the commenter (though it’s great if you can resolve the issue)!

  • Hi Geoff
    I guess the way I look at it is to recall some great advice I was given once to always remember that not everyone will like and agree with you. At least that’s the case if you stand for something and are willing to stand your ground on it. In fact it’s good to be a little polarising sometimes :)
    One is bound to attract negative comment by dint of ones position alone.
    I also agree with amazon in that if the negativity starts to become regular or consistent, maybe it’s time to review work practices!

    • Yeah, I think there’s a warning level versus a normal level of friction. I certainly piss off my fair share, that’s for sure! LOL! Now how polarizing do I want to be, well, that’s another issue. Good point on that, though!

  • This does make sense — as an amazon review user and a sometime reviewer, I seek out the negative reviews in order to adjudicate my purchases, and I believe one can usually distinguish a troll from a discerning customer.

  • I vote for the “respond publicly unless obvious trolls”, but then either resolve the issue on the first pass or move it to a different venue offline to try and resolve the issue.

    • Seems to be the consensus. Maybe the commenting thing is pretty much a best practice now.

      • And I think it is becoming the expectation of the consumer. Just like airline travelers expecting quick responses to their tweets, consumers sometimes want to be heard – and responded to – in whatever venue they choose.

  • I absolutely agree that you should respond publicly as well, even if it’s the standard ” We are sorry that you are disappointed, we’ve messaged you to discuss your issues further.” One small complaint can snowball if the audience thinks you’re not listening.

    I usually tell my clients that when they’re “patiently” dealing with a troll, they’re not doing it FOR the troll, but for those watching. People can see if you care and are trying for a resolution…

    • I agree. I think I could do better with the patiently part of the equation, and you add a good point with that.

  • No doubt there’s no way to please everyone but that’s a reflection on them, not you.

    Personally I’m all for responding to negative feedback publicly. Although I do give a pass on the haters… those can be deleted and I think it will be pretty obvious who they are.

    But whenever I look for reviews if I’m the one doing the buying, I look first for the negative reviews. Those are the ones that help keep things in perspective. I feel much more confident buying something or doing business with a company if I read the complaints first so I can gauge A) What they are (relevant to me? overreaction? deal breakers?) and B) The end result (fixed? ignored?)

    So to me, negative reviews are essential and how a company handles them is more important than a lot of the happy glowing stuff.

    • Good point, Carol. As an author I made it a point to respond to a few of our negative views on Amazon, just to address some of the points made and to listen… Negative reviews matter to me. too, in my buying experiences, as well.

  • Seems like everyone agrees. Respond to the negative comments publicly. I also agree with this policy. It shows the customer that you’re at least listening, meaning that you are working to improve.

    I even would say respond to the trolls – kill them with kindness and understanding – if they keep going then stop. But show the other customers that you treat everyone equally at first.

    • You are nicer than me. Once I identify them as such, I give them a polite brush back and then arctic winter. Don’t feed the trolls!

    • Kinda hard not to disagree with the things that are so obvious. I would so love to say that there is other way to run the comments, and say something differently, but can’t do it :(

  • No matter how good you are, there will always be some who are displeased. Unless you are seeing a pattern, you shouldn’t be too concerned. Can’t please all the people all the time.


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    […] Amazon On Negative Comments: Disregard 5% – I like Geoff’s take here, and I think this topic deserves a CTS post in the future. […]

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