What Happens When Word of Mouth Goes Wrong?02.20.2014
These days, thanks to the internet, our customers have no trouble in recommending us to their friends, giving advice in forums, talking about us on Facebook. This, in essence, is what we mean by word of mouth. And it's a wonderful tool - your positive image can spread online easily, without a single word of formal advertising.
But what happens when this cuts the other way, and negative word of mouth appears on the web? Well, to be honest, it's not that easy to give good, concrete advice about such a scenario - the online space is just so uncontrollable. Nevertheless, I've put together here a few points to consider when you next come across something negative about your work, your business or your employees.
1. You can’t respond to conversations you don’t see
Our challenge is that we simply cannot spend all our time be surfing the internet for content where someone is talking about us in a negative manner. Thank God we have Google, which can do this for us. This wonderful tool is called as Google Alerts, where we can set up a range of key words (our company name, for example), and Alerts will then regularly search the web for corresponding content.
2. Determine whether it’s worth a response
From time to time you will surely experience a situation in which your competitors make unflattering remarks about your business. Don’t waste your attention on these - there's no way you're going to get the best of such a fight. Just move on, unless you really consider the comments to be terribly damaging.
3. Act quickly
Don’t waste any time before responding to serious negative word of mouth! Act as quickly as possible - that way, you can limit its spreading; once you've answered it, such content ceases to be interesting.
4. Speak in a customer-friendly tone
Don’t try to be strict, try to be friendly, and to understand the problem. Talk in the language people expect to hear in a critical situation. Show empathy, employ a friendly tone, and use your real name.
Have you ever experienced negative word of mouth?
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