Are You Zapping the Power out of Word Of Mouth?

by Jeannie Walters

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Companies should, and certainly DO take advantage of free or cheap communication channels like blogging, email and social media- mostly because they believe their communication is important. And maybe it is. But how are your customers to know?

Before you publish another blog post or send another email blast, you must consider:

Is your word of mouth communication relevant?

While your latest research findings or press release might be fascinating to your shareholders, your staff or the media, is it really that fascinating to your customers?

And herein lies your challenge. We now possess incredible technology which helps us schedule and push out updates, graphics, YouTube videos, blog posts, bulk emails and more content content content. We are in love with our “set it and forget it” culture because it makes it possible to move on with the other 217 things on our to-do lists.

word of mouth

But all that automated content is a waste of time and resources if your customers don’t find it relevant. And much too much of the content out there really is NOT. Word-of-mouth power is in the relevance of the conversation. And if it’s way off, guess what? You, and your organization, your blog, and even your opinions, seem tone deaf. It becomes obvious you are not listening. Your customers see through it or turn away completely as you push, promote and force conversations that don’t feel authentic or relevant.

While some brands can quickly become the center of attention (hello, i-anything launch!), many others are struggling to understand what WOM is all about. It’s incredibly challenging, but also an invaluable opportunity.

How do you choose your news?

News and information travel differently these days. When was the last time you heard anything new or relevant on the nine o’ clock news? By then, current events are old and convoluted. You heard about them straight from the horse’s mouth on Twitter, then quickly joined a discussion about it with your friends on Google+. Consider the problems at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. We were receiving real-time updates directly from athletes and journalists hours or eve days before news agencies could even scratch the surface.

word of mouth

Word-of-mouth encompasses so many things. It’s social media and your best friend and discussing the new concepts that were all the rage at SXSW. It is product demos and blog comments and employee meeting and everything in between. And each of these has to fit together as a part of your overall customer experience.

And each of these things must be relevant. Relevance is fleeting, because what’s relevant today might not be tomorrow. How do you deliver relevant content?

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, a Forbes Coaches Council Member, a C-Suite Network Advisor, a LinkedIn Learning and Lynda.com instructor, and a TEDx speaker. Learn more here.

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