It’s a fact. People are talking about you. Some might be saying nice things; others might be saying some very awful things. It’s going on all the time and there’s little you can do to control it.
The very thought of controlling word of mouth is ludicrous. Yet, you can influence. You are influencing it right now; whether you know it or not. Every interaction you have with your employees, customers and business partners is an opportunity to influence the conversation.
Typically, we’d think of word of mouth in relation to only your customers. But when you actually break it down, every person that your business has a relationship with might join in the conversation, so you’d better be on your toes. Either you can join in the conversation or you can choose to act like the airline industry and choose to ignore the entire public (setting yourself up for complete failure).
Today I had the chance to fly American Airlines. What a disappointment:
• No smiles.
• Jam packed planes.
• Beverage and food shortages.
• 45 minutes on the tarmac stuck on a plane.
• Extra charges for checked luggage.
• Unenthusiastic thank yous as we stepped off the plane.
Being this bad takes work (or full on neglect).
The opportunity to do better, to be different, to be remarkable is obvious. Either you’ll make an adjustment or someone else will do it for you.