Tuesday, June 06, 2006

WOM and Employees

While I was wondering what to post for my next blog, I began searching the web for ideas. I googled WOM and advertising, wondering if I would find our class blog. Instead, I found a blog site that relates exactly with what we are learning in class (and its by womma). The blogsite is called word of mouth vs. advertising. It immediately caught my attention and I began browsing the posts.

The blog was originated to answer several questions for those companies and individuals curious about WOM marketing. Questions like "How does WOM impact your advertising?", "How does your advertising impact WOM?", "Does advertising inspire or inhibit WOM?", "Does product experience replace marketing?", etc. All the blog posts are exactly what we are learning and more.

A thought that I found extremely inspiring was in the first post I read. It talked about treating your employees well, because they, in turn, will treat your customers well. If you treat your employees poorly, chances are they are not going to be happy employees. And unhappy employees will not reflect well on the company during customer interactions. In class we focus on having a product or service that is worth talking about. This blog post went further. It never occurred to me that employees of a company, especially in retail and other customer service oriented jobs, are the ones having all the interactions with the consumers. A positive interaction with the company through an employee boosts the experience for the entire product/service. How many times have I gone to Friendly's, where the icecream is not entirely terrible, but the service is obnoxious? It is the terrible service experience leading the reason as to why I refuse to go to Friendly's anymore. And I tell all my friends not to go there also. I spread negative WOM for Friendly's based entirely on all my awful experiences there: waiting an hour for an icecream cone (which doesn't take that long to scoop), or waiting forever just to be seated. In this case, it is not the product driving the NWOM, but the employees. Which is the point of the blog post. I never looked at it in that perspective, but its entirely true (and pertinent to me and my vendetta against Friendly's).

Anyway, I advise you all to check out the site. The blogs are relevant to class and funny.
And something I thought was clever: keeping in the spirit of word of mouth, the site has a "Tell a Friend" link, where you can email your friends, spreading the word about the site!


NUlax17 said...

I find what you are saying to be extremely true. More than half of the company I work for consists of customer service reps. We are an e-commerce retail company that also has a sizeable marketing department that I work in, but the CSR's are what we pride ourselves on. "Great Service." The energy in the office space is always high and everyone gets along very well. Similar to what Dr. Carl said today about younger employees and businesses taking part in WOM and WOM ideas, this company thrives on younger energy and ideas; and this positive atmosphere is definitely what keeps this company growing. Our friendly, trustworthy service noted on bizrate and other sites are what is driving WOM and boosting the company's image and sales.

KERandall said...

I would agree that quality of customer service instantly generates word of mouth. The sad part is that these some times minimum wage workers don't believe in the service they provide or, just plain hate their job. This reflects not only in the service they provide but throughout the entire company culture. I, in fact, worked for a Friendly's when I was younger. It was awful. You are correct in emphasizing the lack of customer service skills. Customers would be left waiting at the door, food was cold, ice cream was melted, and the employee rentention rate would make you wince. I'm not sure that the employees at some place like Friendly's will ever be motivated to provide quality service simply because they get no recognition, pay is low, and the environment is pitiful. I would even argue that the "Bad mood" sentiment was contagious. I swear, I walked into work smiling, and out of work stressed and depressed. Luckily, I now work for that "friendly" marketing company that nulax17 referenced in his comment. The young culture and fresh mindset keeps us on our toes. The atmosphere is very laid back and there is a real team mentality. I could go on forever about this, good post.

Hillary said...

This is certainly relevant to what we are talking about in class as well as what goes on in the real world. If someone is not treated with respect in the workplace they are not going to promote their service or product which their company has to offer. Not to get totally crazy here, but this can relate to consulting too which is what are project relates to. It can be related to (for the people who are in Dallimore's class with me as well) implemeting the motivational need systems in order to promote healthy individuals. In turn, these healthy individuals are good for the company and will be more likely competent and happy to promote for their company or provide better service. This is evident in most businesses. The way that managers treat their employees is most likely how you are going to be treated as a customer.

DietPepsi said...

As embarrassing as it is, I too worked in an environment similar to Friendly’s, yet I actually believe it was worse. Johnny Rockets. Ok, go ahead and laugh at me. It was a short-lived job, actually lasting a mere two days but enough time to give me insight into the not-so-wonderful world of semi-fast food joints. Similar to the feelings that “KERandall” shared regarding their experiences at Friendly’s, I noticed that the actual people working don’t care AT ALL about the company’s reputation. It’s entirely irrelevant that I was the only English speaking worker for those two days. I wonder if the owners of JR ever ventured into that particular restaurant to see how poorly their company was running.