The Right Way To Respond To A Nasty Email
Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:36 AM
A few months later, I made a positive comment about my friend's software on a general forum and this customer with whom I had worked chimed in and read me the riot act. I "didn't do this" and "should have done that" and the software sucked and the support sucked, etc. I asked him if he had contacted support and he said that he expected that I would, despite the fact that I was quite explicit about him contacting support on his own. This was because support would have to have an exchange with him with questions, possibly sample data, etc. and it wasn't really an effective approach to have me as a go-between.
To make this long story short, the exchange became very heated and I got caught up in it. Nasty things were said and it took several hours of back and forth along with comments from other forum members supporting either him or me for it to end. And I felt terrible for letting it happen.
Since then I decided to follow advice similar to yours that I found online to defuse such situations, including not responding right away, "putting the person in his place" in an offline message that was deleted before sending and doing my best to put myself in his shoes when crafting the real response. If it's just a non-personal exchange (along the lines of Apple fanboys vs Windows fanboys) and I feel compelled to respond, many times the "putting him in his place" offline e-mail gets it completely out of my system and I never respond at all.
Again, excellent advice... thanks for sharing it!
Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:44 AM
If the writer's perception is out of line with objective reality, respond to the perception first, then seek to reset their point of view to a true reality.
Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:33 PM
Being truthful includes "Thank you making us aware of this bug." Being HONEST about things like bugs is valued by clients. Then we can ask details, find out more, and fix the situation.