“Don’t feed the trolls” is now a well-worn adage for engaging online, and for good reason. Just as in life outside of the internets, some people exist solely to get a rise out of people. Unlike face-to-face interaction, your response to that often mindless prodding can be screen-capped, shared, and mocked to hundreds, thousands—even millions of other people. It’s why it’s best to keep your troll radar sharp, and in your mission to provide exceptional online customer service, have operational guidelines for dealing with social media mischief makers.
Forbes is out with a great piece today that provides a framework for dealing with trolls. It’s a stumbling block for online marketers who are merely trying to do their job in an engaging and respectful manner, but may feel like they’re being duped after a couple of nonsensical back-and-forths.
The top, actionable advice involves offering to take a conversation offline. That serves two purposes: it snuffs out trolls, as they operate purely on attention, and it creates a private venue so the details of customer complaints aren’t aired out in a public forum.
Trolls don’t want to talk—they want to torment. Offering direct message or email communication provides them no value on your social media platforms.
The Forbes article also outlines areas where it’s alright to go against the traditional customer service norms such as blocking or removing content. Again: it helps to have online representatives that are adept at targeting trolls.
Social media customer service has streamlined companies’ abilities to quickly connect with customers, but with that comes a deluge of ne’er-do-wells who thrive on being a nuisance. When you’re looking to take your service efforts to the internet, it helps to remember the adage we started with: Don’t feed the trolls.