3-Minute WOM Lesson: What to do about those negative reviews

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Great word of mouth marketers see the opportunity in negative customer reviews. How to make the most of yours:

1> Expect them
2> Learn from them
3> Dilute them

1> Expect them

Whatever you make in whatever industry you’re in, you’re not going to please everyone. Someone won’t like the color, the texture, the price, or the font you used — and that’s OK. The sooner you get over the shock of negative feedback, the sooner you can move on to doing something positive with it.

2> Learn from them

If you’re willing to listen, your customers will tell you how to make better products. When children’s furniture maker The Land of Nod saw customers complaining that one of their best-selling tables had a soft top, they quickly went to their engineers to fix the issue (and not only did they fix it, but they also sent a replacement to their customers). This is how great brands turn critics into loyal fans — all while making good products even better.

3> Dilute them

What’s true in environmentalism is true in word of mouth: The solution to pollution is dilution. Dilute your negative word of mouth by encouraging your customers — the ones who happily (and quietly) use your stuff every day — to post a review. Remember: Most companies don’t have a negative word of mouth problem — they have a lack of positive word of mouth problem.

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