Now, more than ever before, businesses need to keep their customers happy. Satisfaction, or the lack thereof, is more transparent than before the Internet and the advent of social media.
The Baker Retailing Initiative at Wharton School of Business conducted a Retail Customer Dissatisfaction Study. This study exposed some very interesting statistics. One out of every three dissatisfied customers complains to an average of four people he knows. These four people then avoid the store in question based solely on the negative word of mouth. Of these customers who have had a negative experience, only 6% of them contacted the company, but 31% went on to tell friends, family or colleagues what happened. Of those, 8% told one person, another 8% told two people, but 6% told six or more people.
Then came Internet and social media. I recently had a conversation with a restaurant owner who said it was more difficult to run a restaurant today than ever before. When I asked, "Why?" he said, "The Internet." He went on to say that "It is impossible to please all of the people all of the time. Before social media, the sphere of influence for these dissatisfied customers looked like the numbers above. NOW, if they put it on social media, it can go viral. How can you deal with this?"
Even if the complaint has little or no merit, it can significantly affect business. That's why using reputation management is so vital for businesses today. I know that some of you reading this newsletter can provide that service for your clients. Be sure they know you can help. It is also why using radio, newspaper, TV, the "legacy media" to tell the true story is so important. With us, the client controls the narrative. The client can use his messages to create the brand image he wishes and that accurately reflects his business. We can help to counteract the negative press that most companies will experience from time to time.
The business landscape is more complicated than ever. We must be the resource to guide our clients through.