About 3 weeks ago i wrote a post called How Consumers Give Feedback, which featured some research from Bruce Temkin across at the Temkin Group, a US a customer experience research and consulting firm.
One of the stand out things of the research, for me, was that:
“37% of all respondents said that even after a Very Good experience they did not tell anyone about it.”
That troubled me and I wondered why. Michael Cowen of Ravetopia left a really insightful comment where he said:
“I do think it is in our nature to spread the bad news rather than the good news, whether it is gossip, what bad things people have done or how someone has hurt us.
I think part of the reason is that we have to “show up” when we recommend something positive. We are putting our own personal reputations on the line. We don’t want to be wrong or accused of recommending something that is bad. Of course, when something is bad and we say it is there is nothing to lose and our reputations and our relationship stay in tact.”
So, if sharing is risky in the minds of customers, how can we make it as risk free as possible?
Could it have something to do with the emotional bank account idea, where before we feel able to share or recommend someone or something we need to build up our trust credits in them?
If you haven’t heard of this idea it was popularised by Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and it basically means that we hold a personal “emotional” bank account with anyone that we have a relationship with be they family, friends, colleagues, customers etc. This account will naturally begin at zero and like any bank account we can make deposits and withdrawals. However, instead of dealing with units of monetary value, we deal with emotional units.
However, the emotional units that Covey is referring to are centred around trust. So, when we make emotional deposits into someone’s bank account like doing great stuff for them and not just to them. Then, if we do that on a continuous basis, their fondness, trust, and confidence in us grows and our relationship develops and grows.
Is that the way to get our customers to talk about us and share us? Do we need to think about building that side of the relationship, that level of trust if we want to build our word of mouth marketing?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks to purplejavatroll for the image.