Nothing travels faster than light, with the possible exception of bad news.
This adage was reinforced recently by a study of word-of-mouth practices by U.S. consumers. In a survey by COLLOQUY, slightly more than one out of every four consumers surveyed said they are far more likely to spread news about a bad experience with a product or service than a good experience.
This also is true among consumers who are most loyal to a brand. In fact, COLLOQUY experts call these consumers “Madvocates.”
The survey found that 75 percent of the general population said that when they’ve had a bad experience with a product or service they advise friends and family.
So what’s a marketer to do?
- Monitor what’s being said about your company and brand. Use social media and online channels to regularly research dialogue about your company. Use the information that you find out to make your product or service better.
- Respond immediately and honestly. If something negative is said, reach out to the “madvocate” and offer to make it right. Respond right away before the negative news gains traction, and always be honest in your response.
- Communicate good news regularly. As a practice, regularly publish positive content about your company and product. Develop information about how you’ve benefitted customers and use social media and earned media channels to get the word out. This good news will help to dilute any bad reviews.
You can’t make everyone happy all the time. However, responding quickly can help to minimize negative news.