Word of mouth marketing is one of the most primitive and a largely effective technique. However, like everything else, even this marketing strategy has two sides to it:
- Positive word of mouth marketing
- Negative word of mouth marketing
While the former is usually initiated by a delighted customer who can’t wait to tell others about his amazing experience with a brand or product, the latter is instigated by a customer who has had a particularly bad experience with a business. Such a good or bad experience can either be shared face-to-face, over a call, through reviews or via one or more of the social media networks.
Needless to say, positive word of mouth marketing is effective in it's purpose which often leads to increased customer confidence and a subsequent boost in sales. On the contrary, negative word of mouth marketing often has an adverse impact on sales. However, the impact of the two types varies largely. While an unhappy customer is more likely to share his experience with at least 10-20 people, an elated customer might only tell about 2-5 people. Moreover, in today’s times of social media dominance, an unhappy customer is much more likely to rant about the ill experience and let people know about it at large, thus proving that negative word of mouth marketing has a larger impact than the positive. In fact, there have been numerous instances when a bad review from one customer has spread so widely, that it has had a severe impact on the reputation of the business in question.
As per a study conducted by Cone Communications in 2011, as many as 4 out of 5 customers are known to reverse a purchase decision, in the light of negative reviews. Positive reviews, on the other hand, don’t have such a large impact on the purchase decision of a prospective customer.
So, what does this mean for a brand/business?
Well, it simply implies that a brand should try and do away with as much negative publicity as possible. This can be done in two ways:
- By ensuring a flawless customer experience
- By addressing and resolving any customer grievance in the swiftest and most effective way possible
In addition, it is always helpful to hire the services of a reputable influencer marketing company in India that can help create a positive aura around the brand. Their expertise and experience to turn around a brand’s image can be highly effective in changing the impact a brand has on its audience.