Today’s business management focuses greatly on the customer experience to enhance revenue. You can be on every social platform, have a great marketing campaign and garner plenty of positive product placement in print and broadcast, but if your customer service is severely lacking, then all of that effort could be mute.
In terms of cost and efficacy, word of mouth (WOM) marketing yields the most profound results for companies across a bevy of sectors. At the same time, a negative customer experience expressed through WOM can affect the organization greatly as well. Nevertheless, positive word of mouth can be fostered by great customer service, as it reduces the marketing expenses of a brand. Many marketing executives have elected to nurture this approach given its impactful outcomes.
Marketing executives ask a range of questions to determine the WOM approach that best serves the needs of their organization. Questions such as what is the percentage of customers attracted to your service through personal referrals and is the customer service experience being translated via social media? Is great customer service translating into positive WOM messaging online and off?
For example, survey results have found that 20 to 75 percent of new customers to a business come through personal referrals due to a positive shopping experience. In 2012, according to the president of the Cheesecake Factory restaurant chain, WOM enabled the company to spend 25 percent less than the competition in its industry because of the impact of WOM marketing.
Moreover, in evaluating the efficacy of WOM, brands weigh questions such as, what is the nature of word of mouth generated (whether it is negative or positive)? How predictive is word of mouth in terms of driving sales?
If brands are able to convert twenty percent of their dissatisfied customers to ten percent, they can transform the impact of WOM on their organizations. For instance, a customer service center that provides routine service for a company has the capacity to generate three hundred new customers per week if only one out of every 30 of the 10,000 positive referrals in a new customer sampling are leveraged correctly.
Ironically, many brand executives, when asked whether customer service is considered part of the overall brand marketing initiative, are perplexed as they still devote much of their resources to more traditional advertising.
At Top Tier Media, we live and breathe social media and know that exemplary customer service shown in the social media space is vitally important to the bottom line.
Where does customer service rank for you in your social media strategy?