Tonight on Fox: When Fans Attack

Posted on April 7, 2011


Once upon a time, when I was just a wide-eyed youngster getting my start in the business, a very smart person shared this piece of advice with me, “Mike, they never call the deli when the milk is good. They only call when it isn’t.”

People complain. That’s a fact of life. 

That why it’s not surprising to learn that a study by the loyalty marketing firm Loyalty One,  indicates 25% of people say they are more people are likely to tell family and friends about a bad experience than they are to talk about a good one.

While 75% of respondents said when they’ve had a bad experience with a product or service they tell people about it, only 42% say they always recommend a product or service they really like.

Fine, I can live with that.

Here’s the scary part, even your biggest fans can easily become your worst enemy.

One out of three people who describe themselves as being loyal to, and willing to recommend, brands they like say they are far more likely to talk about a bad experience with a product or service than a good one.

You know those goofy uber-fans of yours? The ones that come to every remote broadcast and often drive you utterly bat-shit insane. They are more likely than the average person to tell everyone about a bad experience they have with a brand, or in this case, your brand.

Keep that in mind the next time you see one of your nutty super-fans walk into your appearance wearing  a five-year old station t-shirt and a goofy grin. Give them a friendly hello and direct them to the free pizza because fans are hard to come by and can become dangerous enemies.