Issue #106: Dealing With Negative Word of Mouth

1> Build credibility before you need it
2> Respond
3> Be a human
4> Don’t fight
5> You can’t win them all

1> Build credibility before you need it

When someone attacks you on a blog or message board, it’s too late to show up and defend yourself — you’ll look like a PR flack and no one will listen.  Start building a reputation now:  participate in the discussions, comment often, and be part of the community.  You’ll have credibility to defend yourself if and when you need it, and you’ll have made friends who will do some defending on your behalf.

2> Respond

You should definitely respond to negative posts, and respond quickly.  Say you’re sorry, offer to fix the problem, and provide contact information.  There is nothing more powerful than the words, "I’m sorry."  Be sure to deliver on your promises. 

3> Be a human

Don’t give a corporate answer to negative post. Be a real person. It’s easy for someone to angrily attack a faceless corporation — but when Jenny or Steve replies, the heat goes out of the argument.  It turns into a discussion.

4> Don’t fight

If you get into a fight, you lose.  You can never win a fight on someone else’s blog or message board.  Write your responses for future readers to read, not necessarily for the attacker.  Even if you can’t make the critic happy, every future reader will see that you tried.

5> You can’t win them all

Don’t forget… some people are angry nutjobs. Don’t obsess. Try to apologize and move on. 

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New section from the updated word of mouth book: Dealing with negative WOM | You Can Be a Word of Mouth Marketing Supergenius - March 6, 2009

    […] Stay tuned, as in a couple of weeks we’ll cover this section in more depth. In the meantime, see some quick tips for dealing with negative word of mouth by checking out issue #106 of GasPedal’s word of mouth newsletter. […]

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