How to React to Member Online Community Feedback

As online community manager, you have to find a balance in how you react to feedback in your community. If you have an issue that affects everyone in a negative way, you want to avoid taking too long to act. There’s the potential here to make one of two mistakes; either rushing into a situation without giving it enough thought, or taking too long to mull things over.

When you do react to member feedback:

  • Avoid being all things to everyone. Don’t fall into the trap of changing the way things are done every time someone complains or remarks. This makes you look a little wishy-washy and as if you really don’t know what direction to take.

    Just because someone complained on a blog doesn’t mean you have to tear things down and start all over again. Also, not every complaint is valid. Sometimes people complain just to complain or nitpick because they’re disgruntled. Carefully weigh the merit of each remark.

  • Know that you can’t please everyone. The sad truth is that everyone won’t be happy with you or what you’re trying to do, and it’s not always your fault. Do consider constructive criticism but also know that certain things aren’t doable or in the budget.

    It’s also important to remember that some people complain no matter what direction you take. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can make most people happy.

  • Don’t dismiss small issues: It’s a funny thing about nitpicks. They seem really small and not worrisome, but then you discover that they bother a lot more people than you think. Don’t wave something off as being minor. Every comment at least deserves the benefit of consideration.

  • More than one person escalates a concern into an issue. If one person complains or offers a suggestion, it’s noteworthy and worthy of investigation. When more than one person complains about the same thing, it’s an issue having to be dealt with in one form or another.

Avoid the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. There’s a reason people upgrade technology on a regular basis. It may not be broke, but it can always be better.

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