Monday, February 18, 2013

The Negativity Department

Negativity is highly underrated.

Instead of insulating your business against it, consider these ways to leverage it.

Own the hate, mitigate the sting. What if, instead of getting defensive when customers leave negative online reviews, you printed those nasty comments on employee shirts, carry out menus and other marketing materials?

Turn feedback into inspiration. What if, instead of ignoring negative mentions of your product, you offered refunds as a necessary cost of defending the reputation of your business?

Gamify the complaint process.  What if, instead of posting prewritten, preapproved responses to negative tweets, you held a contest for the employee who issued the funniest, most creative apology?

Treat crisis as an outreach opportunity. What if, instead of issuing another impersonal, corporate apology, you designed custom apology postcards for situations in which you let customers down?

Say sorry in three dimensions. What if, instead of sending a laughable mass email that takes ten minutes to write, you created a splash page where negative feedback was converted into song parodies?

Introduce a cinematic element. What if, instead of pretending poor reviews didn’t hurt your feelings, you personally contacted your haters, hired a camera crew, interviewed them about their experience and published the videos online?

Leverage complaints from non-buyers. What if, instead of standing mute as complaints mounted, you approached your competitor’s unhappy customers with a delight item to wow their hearts and win their loyalty?

Maybe your company needs a negativity department.