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Executive

Superusers and unwanted attitude

We have small bunch of superusers and we have builded a VIP program for them. One of our VIP's has nowadays the undesirable attitude towards our company today. He blames us, criticises and don´t trust us at all (as a company). But note, he does this only in superusers private board, not publicly in the community. When we added him to our VIP program he was different person.

I have asked "is there anything I can do because I have seen that you are irritable..." and he said that he have some issues with our products, I should fix them and then everything is ok. But the problem is that problems with the products are that kind of problems we can't fix them easily. It might be that we can't fix them at all. We are trying all the time but he thinks nothing happens.

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So, I would like to know how to tell him that I understand his problems with the products but I don't accept his behaviour and attitude as a VIP. We have public "invitation" for everyone who might be a next VIP. There says that VIP is "generally good person" who communicates kindly in every situations. Can I point my message somehow to that?

Have you faced this kind of situations and how you have handled those?

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10 Replies 10
Khoros Alumni (Retired)

Hi @TeroRe

It's a tricky situation because on the public board they're adding valuable content, but in the VIP group they're  causing headaches.

You mentioned there are rules for the VIP Group.  Are their posts also violating the Community Guidelines?  I suggest sending them a "soft" warning mentioning that while you appreciate and value their contributions to the Community,  VIP members are held to a higher standard than general members.   If their posts do breach a Community guideline such as be respectful, personal attacks etc...  point that out to them, and remind them that future posts should fall within those guidelines.  You can also mention that further posts of that nature may result in them being removed from the VIP group.

Hope this helps!
Dee

Community Coordinator
Strategic Services 

Thanks Dee, I really appreciate.

Actually, he doesn't violate Community Guidelines. But what he does is that he doesn't behave like we have described what kind of person VIP is from our perspective. And they should know because everyone can see the description from our public "invitation". I can point my message for that if needed.

Hmm, you speak about "them" - do you mean that I should send this message to everyone, even the problem exists only with one user? (I would like to send some kind of message to every VIP member because some of them are kind a imperious nowadays.)

My fear is that if I send this message how he would behave after that. Problem can escalate even more.

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Khoros Alumni (Retired)

Hi @TeroRe

Sorry, I meant send him a message, not a message to the entire group.  

It's a tough call, calling out a VIP on behavior.  I know some Community Managers have had calls with superusers,  as members can take private messages the wrong way.  Would this be an option?

In regards to some VIPs becoming "imperious"  maybe post a friendly reminder about why the group was created and why they've been invited to participate? 

 

Dee 

 

 


Community Coordinator
Strategic Services 

Yes, phone call is the option.

I have to think about your second proposition, I´m not sure is the any rule or guideline to point out. Maybe I can point to that all of these are optional for them,  they should be active and stay only if they really want to it to.

Oh, this is so hard...

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Khoros Alumni (Retired)

@TeroRe  Hopefully the member will appreciate the call and feel that you are taking a genuine interest in their concerns.

Keep us posted & good luck

Community Coordinator
Strategic Services 

We have had the unfortunate situation arise where a superuser needed to be banned from our community entirely for disruptive behaviour a number of years ago, even though he was far and away the largest contributor we had ever had. This issue arose in part because there were no specific guidelines or rules for the super user group.

I would recommend drawing some up focusing on what expectations there are for these users above the standard guidelines and asking your VIP group to provide feedback on the terms (ie. a mini consultation period) before asking them all to agree. Users that don't wish to agree can leave your VIP group and you then have a solid basis for managing user behaviour in future.

Rules are not a bad thing, they help to inform what the expectations are and if any of your current crop of superusers don't wish to follow those rules then it is unlikely they would have been positive contributors long term.

After having launched an annual program, not unlike the Lithium Stars program, where members are re-initiated each year I can highly recommend that approach. This gives you a once a year opportunity to decide who continues to be part of the group. If you had such an arrangement currently then an easy option would be that this disruptive user did not gain membership next year.

One final thought.
We have had some pretty frank users participate in our superuser program who were not shy of calling out what they believed to be poor behaviour by the company and/or the performance of our services. We used this feedback internally to help spark change within the business and kept them in the program. During that time we tried to be as up front as we were able with the users, providing them feedback and setting expectations.

Ie. we have heard your feedback, spoken to the relevant teams internally and have identified that this is a problem that needs to be fixed. Due to the complexities involved this is not something that can be fixed quickly but I will keep you appraised of any changes internally as soon as I am able.

There was even an instance in the past where we had two influential users on community on a call with half a dozen internal product managers to try and resolve a very specific hardware limitation that was affecting a small number of customers. This was a positive experience for all involved and actually resulted in a solution being found.

It is up to you as CM to determine where the line is between frank/honest feedback and negative/troll behaviour.

Yeah, thanks  a lot DanK!

We kinda have a rules for superuser but not actual rules. And this is the thing what I´m going to do.

About your final thought, this is also option for us but I know that this won't help us (because nature of the problems). But I´ll keep also this in my mind.

Excellent tips, I really appreciate. Thanks.

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You've already had a load of good advice here but thought I'd chuck my thoughts in as well. 

 

I wouldn't let fear of the loss of their contributions cloud judgement too much. We've had situations where a superuser ragequit the forum but eventually just ended up coming back and contributing at a similar level but not in the SU programme. 

 

In some ways being disruptive in your VIP area could be more damaging in the long run than it would be in public. Where he/she may just be another dissenting voice amongst several. 

 

Regarding the line between frank/honest and trolling. I always try and do the rationality test with these sorts of situations. I put up with pretty much any level of negativity as long as it stays rational. 

 

We have sort of a three-tier system for guidelines and rules as well. 

 

1. website t&c - our ultimate powers in long form

2. Community rules - sort of a much easier to digest version of the t&c

3. "tenets of being a superuser" Be active, be helpful, be friendly. 

 

Doesn't sound like this person is being friendly. It does make things tougher if the user isn't doing this publicly but I would keep in mind the impact he/she could be having on the rest of your VIP group with their conduct. 

 

cheers!

 

Also as DanK mentioned we run an annual programme.


@SamR wrote:

 

We have sort of a three-tier system for guidelines and rules as well. 

1. website t&c - our ultimate powers in long form

2. Community rules - sort of a much easier to digest version of the t&c

3. "tenets of being a superuser" Be active, be helpful, be friendly. 

 


Thanks SamR. I didn't quite understand your system, if you have time could you explain it briefly or send me a PM thanks 🙂

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If someone has actual rules for superuser is it possible to share those with us? Or send me a PM. I would like to see what has been defined there and how. 

Thanks in advance.

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Hi apache, 

 

Yeah, basically, the website t&c's are what cover us for any users of the sky domains. So we've got all sorts in there in really clunky legal language....

 

2.1 You will not post or transmit through the Sky Site any defamatory, threatening, obscene, harmful, pornographic or otherwise illegal material or material which would violate or infringe in any way upon our rights or those of others (including intellectual property rights, rights of confidentiality, or rights of privacy) or cause distress or inconvenience. You must not express opinions that are vulgar, crude, sexist, racist, unproven or unfounded allegations (especially of wrongdoing) or otherwise offensive. Always treat other Users with respect.

 

This (and others) are translated in our community guidelines into much easier language. Just saying to someone "Please note you are in contravention of website terms & conditions point 2.1" is very confrontational and pretty pants for the user.

Point 2.1 above could be translated to something as simple as:

 

  1. First one's easy - be nice to each other.

That way we can talk around community rules with users and not terms and conditions. Obviously, if we need to refer to t&c then we do so.  The rules format also fits better with a conversation. "Hey folks - this discussion is getting pretty lively - please remember our first and most important community rule... "be nice to each other"

 

Separately from the t&c/rules stuff we have sort of distilled what we want from a superuser down to something very simple that is powerful in its vagueness. We don't have rules as such for them.

 

Be active, be helpful, be friendly. 

 

 

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