With the explosion of online social media, everyone is coming up with a way to market their business or sell a product. Facebook has a pretty elaborate Marketing Team who work to help you accomplish whatever your objective is. They also have a Facebook Marketplace where you can sell everything, including the kitchen sink. I have used both and can honestly say they work BUT I also know word of mouth advertising will always give me more bang for my buck than tossing hundred (or thousands) of dollars on the “possibility.”

Why is word of mouth advertising so valuable? Because customers trust their friends, especially older adults. According to a Nielsen study, more than 90 percent of consumers believe suggestions from family and friends more than they do from random advertising. Also, a friend referral is an easy way to spread the word about what you do or what product(s) you’re offering.

Let me give you an example: Recently, a good friend of mine shared a photo and a post on Facebook about some pies she bought from a mutual acquaintance. She boasted about how good they were. I then chimed in and asked if those pies were as good as (or better than) her mother’s. She said it was the equivalent. Now, that told me the pie had to be awesome because I know her mother can bake! So what did I do? I reached out to Vicki and placed an order.

The pies didn’t arrive in, what I would consider, a timely fashion and when I inquired about it, she assured me I would get them in the next 24-48 hours. As a result of the delay, she refunded the shipping cost although I didn’t request it. What she demonstrated was what it means to give excellent CUSTOMER SERVICE. Why is that important to word of mouth advertising? Because when you provide your customers with great service, it increases the business owner’s word-of-mouth-equity. Here are some reasons why customer service, good or bad, is so important when it comes to word of mouth advertising:

  1. A dissatisfied customer will share their dissatisfaction with others and with social media, that could be a killer!
  2. Negative interactions with a business are spread twice as fast as the positive ones.
  3. People are twice as likely to talk about their bad customer service experiences as they are their positive experiences.
  4. Nearly 70 percent of people spend money after getting recommendations from their friends on online communities like Facebook and Twitter.
  5. Happy customers who get their issues resolved tell other people about their experience (like I’m doing now).

Word of mouth advertising combined with excellent customer service may not result in thousands of customers but you will have a loyal base who will continue to sing your praises.

As my thank you for Vicki’s delicious pies and great customer service, I created this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VETFbolpjds