Inbound Marketing – Chapter 7:

Gossip for good

In the online world your reputation is everything. For posterity let me repeat: reputation is everything. If one of your customers has a bad experience they have many, many channels to voice their displeasure. These channels (typically online forums or social media) vary depending on your service or product, but rest assured, the voice of someone who feels as if they’ve been wronged will be heard. Loudly.

Search Engine Reputation Finder

Google is used by over 70 percent of consumers as their primary search engine.

While bad news travels at exceptional speeds, the great news is that in the online world, good news travels just as fast. If you are monitoring the media channels used by your customers, you can quickly be alerted when someone is displeased by their experience with your company. Instead of meekly accepting your fate as “…a bunch of careless jerks who wouldn’t know a cheese quesadilla from a hole in the head”, you can harness this bad press for your benefit.

Thoughtful and timely attention to grievances can turn the aggrieved into brand evangelists. There are countless examples of companies using the immediacy of social media to earn the affections of previously angry customers.

Although this type of outreach is common across most customer-facing industries, a great example of this the increasingly common occurrence of restaurants making direct contact with people who’ve detailed and publicized their poor dining experiences on Yelp—a crowd-sourced restaurant review site. In fact, an eMarketer study determined that almost nine out of 10 restaurants used social media for customer outreach in 2013.

Often all that is required to remove the tarnish of a poor review is a genuine apology or some form of minor compensation (bear in mind, the cost of compensating a customer will probably be significantly less than the revenue loss associated with a scathing review). If the situation is handled in a smooth, sincere and timely manner it can lead to removal of the negative post and has the ability to create positive buzz across social media (and even traditional media).

One important factor to take note of is that the outreach from your company must at least seem sincere. If an angry customer senses that your intentions are impure, then your outreach can pour gasoline on a smoldering fire.

If you want to learn more about how you can use inbound marketing to dramatically increase your brand’s value, give Intelligent Demand a shout. We’d love to talk with you.

To see all of the other chapters we’ve reviewed, be sure to visit our Demand Generation blog category.

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Tyler Lane

Author Tyler Lane

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