Word of mouth is a two-way street!

65978187 Let’s face it, stories about shoddy service, a product that flopped or a clerk who was the epitome of rude make much better stories than when things go well.  It's basic human nature.

When was the last time you heard about good hospital food? I rest my case!

We all know the power of word of mouth advertising, but what do you do when your customers are telling stories you’d rather not have seep beyond your door?

The best defense is to clearly communicate that your business wants to hear when things don’t go according to plan.  Let them tell you, rather than 137 of their closest friends. 

  • Offer satisfaction guarantees. 
  • Always ask, at the end of a transaction, if the client is happy with the results. 
  • Do follow up contacts, by phone or mail to verify that the customer is still satisfied.  
  • Point blank ask if they would refer you to their friends or colleagues.

Of course, you can do all of those things, but if you don’t actually listen and respond to concerns and complaints – don’t add insult to injury by asking.  That just makes for a better story.

Look around your business.  Check your invoices and receipts.  Re-read your “welcome” letters or official business literature.  If you were a brand new client – would you immediately recognize that your business was open to hearing complaints?

Take steps today to make your business one that encourages grumbling, grousing, complaining and whining. 

Not only will you stop the viral spreading of the bad story but you’ll probably improve the buying experience for all your customers and generate more of that good word of mouth you’re hoping for!

How do you currently ask for feedback?  What's the most creative/compelling tactic for getting feedback that you've experienced?

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