How to Moderate a Drama Within an Online Community
Where there are people, there is bound to be a degree of drama. Not getting along once in a while is inevitable as there will be personality clashes, differences in opinion and a wide range of beliefs. Drama can also occur in professional communities that are designed to promote a specific brand. When this happens, community managers have to be careful how they address these situations when they arise because making the wrong moves can be highly damaging. When there is disharmony between members or a lack of contentment with the business or its associated brand, community management staff will do well to apply any or all of the three below pieces of advice concerning successful community moderation.
Pacifying the Crisis
Sometimes, people who are a part of a professional community will express discontentment towards the business for receiving what they deem to be substandard customer service. Or it may be that that they may not be happy with the quality of a product or service that has been provided to them. In either case, they want to vent about their displeasure publicly so others can learn of their experiences so they take their complaints to the community. If a community manager just goes ahead and deletes the complaint and sweeps it beneath the rug, then this will look suspicious to other members. Such suspicions will breed distrust, thus causing members to fall away. It is best for complaints to be addressed.
Community managers must go above and beyond to pacify the one making the complaint. Special deals can be offered, such as discounts or freebies. If the customer is still not satisfied, then a refund can be issued. What is important is that community member’s see that company staff care about the welfare and happiness of the customers and that all concerns are given optimal consideration.
Respond to the Situation with Humor
When appropriate, humor can be used to defuse tensions. Humor is sometimes a good tool for putting people at ease and making them feel more comfortable. Once concerned parties respond to the humor and relax a little, then concerns can be discussed.
It is important that community managers know that it is okay for them to poke fun at themselves or their brand. When angry people try to upset the community in order to make themselves feel better, community managers can make themselves the butt of jokes in response to what is being said. People who are willing to make fun of themselves demonstrate to others that they are comfortable with who they are and possess an immense amount of self-confidence which will cause other members of the community to build an even deeper trust with them.
Take Swift Action before losing Control
Sadly, there will be people who just cannot be satisfied no matter what steps are taken to defuse the situation at hand. These individuals are bent on making trouble because they are angry so they want to make others feel pain alongside them. When this occurs, the only solution is to remove that person from the community as allowing them to stay and cause continual drama will drive others away. An apology can be made to the rest of the community members once the person is removed, and members can be invited to ask questions about the incident in order to ease their minds.
Most importantly, community management staff will do well to have a set of rules posted for members to access and read regularly. The post containing the rules should be pinned at the top of the group so the rules will always be in plain view. When members are made familiar with the rules, they will know what is expected of them while they are participating in the community, and incidences of drama can be kept to a minimum which will make moderation efforts much easier.