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Dealing With Negative Word-of-Mouth

At some point, your business may fall victim, warranted or not, to negative word-of-mouth.

It's essential you nip the problem in the bud before it leads to devastating results. Here's how to fight back:

The best way to counter negativity is to create positive word-of-mouth. Try to get to the source of the problem and specifically answer the charges.

Negative comments are often spread by discontented customers. Compile your customer complaints, and see if there's a pattern. Do you have a problem with a particular product or service? Or could a disgruntled employee be the cause? The best way to find out is to ask customers what they think about your business.

Finally, plan ahead. Have emergency plans in place in case there is a problem. And if you encourage an open relationship with your customers, you'll likely be able to head off problems before they happen.

Excerpted from Get Smart: 365 Tips To Boost Your Entrepreneurial IQ

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