3-Minute WOM Lesson: 3 things to know about negative word of mouth

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Is a fear of negative word of mouth holding you back? While we can’t tell you how to avoid it altogether, here are 3 things you should know about it:

1> It happens to everyone
2> It’s a pre-existing condition
3> It’s an opportunity

1> It happens to everyone

There’s a critic for everything, and whatever you sell isn’t immune to criticism. Smart marketers have a combination of thick skin and a willingness to learn and make things better as a result of negative feedback. Whatever you’re building, make it amazing, all while knowing you’re bound to annoy someone.

2> It’s a pre-existing condition

Negative word of mouth isn’t something you create by entering a channel you weren’t previously in. For example, people are already saying bad things about you on Twitter whether you have an account or not. But by joining these networks, while potentially rough at first, you’re given a chance to share your side of the story and demonstrate a willingness to listen.

3> It’s an opportunity

There is no bigger fan than the former critic. By working extra hard to solve the headaches of your upset customers and surprising them with the occasional big upgrade or free replacement, you’ll quickly turn negative word of mouth into some thankful love for your brand. Try creating a simple response plan for upset customers that approaches negative word of mouth as an opportunity to earn a new fan — you won’t convert everyone, but those who do will be some of your biggest talkers.

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