Word of mouth is the best marketing. It always has been, it always will be. What has changed, however, is the avenue that word of mouth marketing now rides on today. The nature of the internet and consumer interaction has created this major shift. Word of mouth is now on steroids: Google, Yelp, Yahoo and others all publish reviews. Because of this, owners can feel at the mercy of the internet, OR they can thrive with a sound strategy.
One of our RevLocal clients stands out as an example. True Performance is the premier foreign auto body repair shop in Columbus for owners of Mercedes, BMW and Porsche cars. The day I sat in the owner’s office to discuss his traditional and online marketing, a tall stack of glowing reviews and surveys sat next to his desk. Yet on his Google Place Page, remained a year old review from a disgruntled customer whose Audi repair took months to complete. The customer ended up leaving happy and understood True Performance was at the mercy of a delayed parts shipment. However, the lone review continued to broadcast a message to any new potential client that a repair could end up taking months to complete.
Marketing experts previously claimed one happy customer will tell a handful of people about their positive experience, yet one unhappy customer will tell a dozen people about their negative experience. Nowadays the small business owner who works hard to build brand equity must also work to build that reputation online. RevLocal understands this dilemma and has created real, innovative means to ensure actual customers can easily write reviews, genuine dialogue occurs, and the business owner reaps the rewards of taking care of every customer. As for Randall, the owner of True Performance – he’s happy to now have a reputation on Google that matches the one he’s built with his returning customers.