In A World of Empowered Word of Mouth, Customer Service Is Crucial

It just makes sense.  As DDB CEO Chuck Brymer put it in his book “SWARM”: “These days, if you have a bad experience at a Burger King, 147 FaceBook friends know about it in five minutes.”  Our ubiquitous social networks allow us, and even encourage us, to share our positive and negative experiences.  Of course, being humans, we’re less inclined to share satisfaction and far more inclined to share outrage.

Dennis Ryan, Element 79, Chicago AdvertisingNow, as is our wont in this industry, someone has gone out and empirically proven this obvious truth.   American Express just released their Global Customer Service Barometer which claims that 91% of Americans consider the level of customer service important when choosing a company to patronize.  Further, they will spend an average of 9% more on companies they believe provide exceptional service.

The bad news is that 28% say that companies pay less attention to good service these days.  And the way people determine how customer friendly a company is?

  1. Personal experience (98%)
  2. Company’s reputation or brand (92%)
  3. Recommendations from friends and family (88%)

Those are classic word of mouth drivers.  Most brands consider this discipline when they’re thinking 360º marketing, but the truth is, no brand can actually afford all 360º.  We’d serve our brands well by moving WOM up to degree #2.

Or risk customers giving us the third degree.


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79


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