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World of Mouth

It’s now easier than ever for people to speak about their experiences with our business, brand, service or products. What was once word of mouth has now exploded or some might say imploded and is now classed as world of mouth. Real time communication platforms and channels such as Twitter and Facebook have given consumers the opportunity to share their experience with your business, brand, service or products, good bad or otherwise in as little as 140 characters relaying the message to friends and followers both local and anywhere in the world. Many businesses particularly on a local level are at times missing a trick and failing to embrace these types of communications and use them to engage and interact with their customers.

The flip side of this coin is that according to research carried out by direct agency Targetbase Claydon Heeley (TBCH) to build better relationships with the public, 41% of consumer’s state that brands needs to “listen to what customers have to say – and act on it”.

More businesses particular those SMEs need to look at using the new communication channels. This will give them a way of interacting with their customers, and at the same time using these communication channels as a way of actually improving their business. A lot of businesses today still see rewards and loyalty schemes as a way to give a little back to their customers but for many customers, myself included, its more about an experience and actually having a good experience which I have found to be the fundamental principles of good relationship marketing and will far out weigh the short term goals in the long run.

The survey carried out by TBCH identified six key values that consumers appreciate in the brands. They want to feel respected, worry-free, informed, confident, understood and organised. The survey went on to find that on the other side of the scale customers are less interested in brands that try to make them feel clever, loved, stylish, up to the minute, empowered, exclusive and excited.

Within social media many brands are trying to incorporate this into their strategy but just not getting the correct mix for it to work effectively. There are some brands that have embraced this form of communication and used it to their advantage giving them an opportunity to assist and solve problems for their customers and to invite them to respond and share their experiences of a particular brand. One such brand which has excelled and benefited in this form of communication is Jet Blue. The airline uses the social media platform Twitter as a way to interact and engage with its customers while enabling its travellers to post questions and comments about its services and allow Jet Blue to build customer service capability with people on the move.

All businesses no matter how small or large can start to benefit from world of mouth by embracing social media platforms in a proactive way. It gives businesses the chance to engage and interact with their customers on a one to one basis, give their input and also raise any possible concerns or issues which they may be experiencing.

At 10thstep we love helping SMEs interact with their customers and we can help you get to grips with using social media tools more effectively for your business. Why not give us a shout and lets us help you explore the world of mouth.

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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