“It’s darned tough to build a good reputation, but pretty easy to destroy it. You can spend years gaining it, but moments losing it. If one person has a bad experience with your business, count on twenty-two more people hearing about that bad experience within a month. If that’s not bad enough, assume that 13 percent of those people will spread the bad word to forty others. … People just love to spread bad word of mouth.”
Levinson goes on to say that a small business builds it reputation by doing the right thing over a long period of time. That is traditional word of mouth marketing. The Internet can energize “word of mouth” by getting the word out about how you take care of your customers. However, if you’re not monitoring your reputation online, the Internet can also hurt you by transmitting any bad experiences to more people, faster than ever before.
So what should you do? You should work hard to build a great reputation with your customers and then use the Internet to let your customers tell their friends how they’ve been treated at your business. If a customer does have a bad experience at your business, as hard as it may be to believe, you want them to complain on the Internet rather than complain offline to their friends. If a complaint is made online, you can do something about it. You can respond to the customer to try to make things right, and you can respond to the complaint to tell other prospective customers all you did to try to correct the situation. If you want your business to grow, you should devote some time, on a regular basis, to monitoring and building your word of mouth marketing on the Web.
- Word of Mouth: Still Dominating Marketing (likeable.com)
- “Word of Mouth Marketing… (shoyit.wordpress.com)
- Is “Word of Mouth Marketing” overhyped (wheresthesausage.typepad.com)
- Online Word of Mouth – An Austin TX Example (business-ratings-reviews.com)
- Speaking of… Word of Mouth Marketing (whatididonholiday.wordpress.com)
- What Not to Do When You’re Launching a New Brand (forbes.com)