Online Reviews Are OK but Word of Mouth is Still King


We recently signed on a client to our OOZEit Survey business, who has built their very successful restaurant business by working on the “Most Influential and Trusted Forms of Advertising,” according to a Nielsen study in September 2013. The old tried and true way of taking great care of customers, and delivering a fantastic experience that causes them to come back and refer their friends through word-of-mouth is still king in the world of advertising.

Sure having great Yelp, TripAdvisor or Google+ reviews are very important, since in today’s digital world customers are talking to Siri or some other responsive search device on their phone to access opinions from complete strangers. I can admit that with 42 reviews in my TripAdvisor account, I am now in the top 3% of reviewers in San Diego,  and 23,191 people have read my comments (OMG!).

So don’t get the idea you should ignore reviews you read about your business because they are very important. However, if you really want to chase the #1 form of advertising, which is built on loyalty and recommendations, you should also make sure to gather great information about what customers are saying about your business.

Almost 30 years ago, I attended a seminar with Toyota where they indicated that customers who have a great experience will tell three friends, but those who have a bad experience will tell 20. Knowing these numbers are still likely to be true, how can you know what your customers are saying about you?

One great way is by applying some real science behind it and asking your customers “The Ultimate Question” from research developed by Fred Reichheld. The question is “on a scale of 0-10 how likely are you to recommend (the business) to people you know?” The result produces the Net Promoter Score or NPS, which has determined that Promoters rate you a 9 or 10, Passives rate you a 7 or 8, and Detractors are those that rate you 0-6. Promoters minus Detractors are what provide you with your Net Promoter score.

To a business person, this is the result of how well your word of mouth advertising is working, and the way in which you can make the necessary changes to improve what people are saying about you. Therefore in order to be even more efficient with your advertising dollars, I recommend you find some way to listen to your customers, because big corporations like Southwest, American Express, Allianz, and Four Seasons Hotels are asking the same question.

There are many ways in which you can gather this information about what customers have to say face-to-face and online. If you are looking for a simple affordable solution for your business, feel free to reach out and write to [email protected], or watch a two minute video .




Jaime Hernandez
Jaime Hernandez
Jaime “Jim” Hernandez, is president of Strategic Business Communications, Inc. which ranked #4122 in INC magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America. He contributes a column about marketing for Latin Business Today. A motivational speaker, marketing consultant and trainer, Jim has worked with more than 30 businesses in the U.S. and abroad. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of MYM, and has been a guest lecturer on sales and marketing at the University of San Diego.

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