Originally published at ViralThinking.com on June 02, 2009.

Eventually it is going to happen, you are going to receive a comment that doesn’t necessarily fall into the category of a good review. So what do you do with it once it’s there?

I think there are a lot of us out there that would react by hitting the delete key without a moments hesitation. But, is this always your best bet?

Personally I think you have to learn to take the bad with the good in this case. I usually advocate approving all comments even if they are not so shiny. (I do have rules, see below).

Why would I open myself up to bad reviews if I had the choice? For several reasons.

First off, if someone is upset with something you have written, a product you have produced or a service you have rendered and you don’t allow them to voice their opinion, chances are you will only fuel the fire. This can lead them to finding other venues to voice their now even stronger opinion. Worse case scenario, they have now made it their mission.

Secondly and this follows should you decide to approve the comment. Doing so on your own blog gives you a public place to control how it is handled. My advice, handle it immediately upon approval and handle it professionally. If you are in the wrong and there is something you can do to remedy the situation, then consider offering to do so. Possibly even taking it offline via email or phone to handle the situation.

Would you prefer to handle an angry client in the comfort of your own place of business or in line at the local grocery store?

The combination of the above will show your readers and customers that you are willing to accept the minor failures of your business as well as handle them promptly and professionally. This displays a certain level of transparency that consumers are slowly willing to expect from a company.

My Rules

I do follow a few important rules in making the decision to allow the bad or downright ugly.

  1. I look for a professional tone in the reader when voicing their opinion. I don’t mind if some angry shows through but to leave a comment filled with cuss-words and other forms of obnoxious behavior will probably not make it through.

  2. Comments sprung from a battered ego. – You have a successful site, the product is a hit, things are going well. Along comes a former co-worker that wasn’t one of your biggest fans to start with. Unfortunately this guys leaves a half assed comment just to bash you because you are who you are. Sorry, deleted.

  3. The last and final is touchy. On occasion I will review another product and once in a blue moon I will get a rather unhappy user of that product to stop by. On one hand you don’t want to discourage your readers, on the other you don’t want to cause an issue with the creator of the product. Rules 1 and 2 apply here.

This is my take on blog comments and how they should be handled, I would be very interested to here how others handle the not so nice. Feel free to comment below.