The Value of Word Of Mouth
There are many ways for marketers to market a product or service. They can create interesting and creative advertising pieces, they can embark on developing a gorgeous website, they can network or host events, in short, they can do a multitude of things to create awareness for their product or service. Once they have accomplished attracting a clientele, they can then work on a referral campaign where their existing clients can elicit referrals and thus bring in more business to the organization. That is the ultimate in an effective and efficient marketing campaign.
In this model, we obviously rely very highly on word-of-mouth. If a friend or relative tells you about a product or service, you are far more likely to use that product or service than if you were exposed to it in a magazine or on a billboard somewhere. If it has been tried and tested and above all, endorsed, by someone you know and trust, that is the best form of marketing.
With this logic, it is absolutely vital to attempt, as best as you can, to keep your existing clients as happy as possible. Why? You may ask – so what if they don’t refer me any business, I can get it elsewhere. Well not so much… The reverse effect of word-of-mouth is even more effective. When everything goes well, people generally don’t offer up information unless asked, prodded or inspired to do so. However, when something goes wrong, then people ‘tell the story’ in any and all settings. Thus, if they are unsatisfied with something that has taken place with your organization and they feel an injustice has been served, they will be quick to let everyone they know know about it. The damage from negative word-of-mouth is extremely severe and something that is very difficult to recover from. The old faithful…”I heard that…” can bring your business down very quickly.
Word-of-mouth is an extremely powerful marketing tool and not one to be forgotten about or considered insignificant when planning your marketing campaign. Collaborating your customer service policy with your marketing plan is an imperative part of ensuring that word-of-mouth management is integrated throughout your organization. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth – it can make or break your organization’s success!