Negative comments can be gold.

Monday Marketing Minute

Once, a very long time ago, I was a sales rep for a large publisher. I sold very expensive text books and reference books to libraries, academic institutions and large corporations, including a very well known private school.

I had liaised with the teacher in charge of the library and had organised a large delivery to him, but it went wrong. Very wrong. He got the wrong books, he was overcharged etc. When I heard from the warehouse what had happened I called him.

I remember saying who I was and then hearing silence at the end of the phone, and then the longest tirade I have ever heard. I let him say his piece and then - as calmly as I could - promised to rectify it.

In fact I promised to pick up all the books he ordered and deliver them in person. I did this and it took a whole day. But that customer changed from being a 'nightmare' customer to being a total raving fan of me and of the company. And that school became an even more enthusiastic customer of ours.

Everyone gets negative comments at some point, and social media is where people let off steam. When you get a negative comment on social media, you could delete it. But I don't recommend that. Reply, offer to fix everything and you'll be surprised how often that turns out to be like my story. Not always, but more often than you'd think. Plus people see that you're human and that you deal with problems like an adult.