Some recent research from ForeSee Results shows that nearly 1/5th of all visitors to the 100 top-grossing retail Web sites came by way of recommendation, and those that came from 'word of mouth' were more likely to buy, recommend, return to the site and remain loyal.
Foresee argue that there are 6 truths about word of mouth you should consider
- The first is that WOM can't be bought. Companies should focus on “earned recommendations” — recommendations that follow a satisfying interaction with the company.
- Second, more questions are better. It isn't enough to ask a single question like “Would you recommend us to a friend or colleague?” Marketers should also ask how likely one is to communicate about their experiences.
- Third, measure good and bad comments. Differentiate customers spreading the “good word” from those spreading negative opinions.
- Next, use a precise measurement scale like a 10-point scale.
- The fifth key is to use a holistic approach. If you also ask about what is and isn't satisfying them, you'll be able to act on that data because you'll know what's driving your customers.
- Finally, always remember that satisfaction drives WOM every time, and measuring satisfaction can help you better predict WOM behavior.