Satisfied Customers Tell 3 Friends

_9780385522724_p0_v1_s260x420Our theme this week is on word of mouth marketing, so we are reading Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000: Running a Business in Today’s Consumer-Driven World by Pete Blackshaw, executive vice president of strategic services at Nielsen Online.

This is a new era of customer service with social networks. In June 2006, a man named Vincent Ferrari had a shockingly combative conversation with an AOL sales rep; he recorded it and posted it on YouTube. More than 62,827 viewings later, AOL’s reputation was irretrievably damaged. As you may remember, our post on Tuesday was about this very thing. Watch your words so that your words don’t become your brand.

Do you have to do things differently in today’s consumer-driven world?

The Internet has undoubtedly changed the way that people do business. Both as a business owner and a consumer, the online capabilities make everything different. Blackshaw says:

“The internet, specifically the now ubiquitous open-source, participatory Internet dubbed “Web 2.0,” allow consumers, united by one common activity — purchasing goods and services from companies — to come together in an extended community.”

As the title of chapter 2 states: The Consumer is Now the Boss. In today’s Internet-driven world, customers have more power than ever. Often these customers come out to voice frustrations, and even a single disgruntled customer can broadcast his or her complaints to an audience of millions.

Do you know how to create loyal relationships with today’s consumer?

Blackshaw states that there are three truths you must commit to when doing Web 2.0 Business:

  1. Businesses no longer hold absolute sway over the decisions and behaviors of consumers
  2. The longer companies refuse to accept the influence of consumer-to-consumer communication and perpetuate the old ways of doing business, the more they will alienate and drive away their customers.
  3. To succeed in a world where consumers now control the conversation, and where satisfied customers tell three friends while angry customers tell 3,000, companies absolutely must achieve credibility on every front.

This authoritative read on building credibility shows managers and business leaders how to establish and maintain loyalty for their brand. The advice is calculated about by being authentic, listening and responding to customers, and forming relationships built on openness, transparency, and trust. Any executive who worries about the company’s reputational risk should read this book and should also make sure that online social media policies are part of strategic planning.

And though this is a bit dated, the advice in this video are still very relevant. Good advice on online marketing, word of mouth marketing, and how companies live and die on the trust they build online.

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