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*A Book Review*

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

By Jerry R. Wilson

© 2001 by Michael C. Gray

August 29, 2001

Jerry Wilson has produced a practical guide for how to make Word-of-Mouth Marketing an integral part of your business. Jerry speaks from practical experience. He had his own successful auto parts business and now does consulting to help businesses dramatically improve their results by pleasing their customers.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing is not a substitute for other marketing efforts. However, if your customers aren't delighted with their experience when they do business with you, the money and effort expended to bring them in to try your business was wasted, because they won't come back.

Not only that, disappointed customers can be enormously damaging to a business. Jerry calls this the rule of 3:33. People are eleven times more likely to tell others about a negative experience than a positive one.

In order to grow a business, the plan should be to promote customers from suspects, to prospects, to customers, to clients, to champions. Champions are customers who are so excited about your business that they will actively participate in helping you to succeed. Developing customers into enthusiastic supporters means people in your organization must develop close personal relationships with them.

Before you develop a pattern of positive talk about your business, you must learn damage control. Remember an unhappy customer is much more likely to talk about his or her experiences than a happy customer. Jerry gives a five-step approach to dealing with customer complaints to minimize the damage from a customer's negative experience and possibly converting it to a positive one.

In order to delight more customers, it's important to find out what their expectations are. (To some degree you can control customer expectations. For example, Southwest Airlines tells customers to expect their flights to be "no frills," but on time and at a low fare.) The best way to learn about customer expectations is to ask them. It's also a good idea to ask customers about how they rate their experience after a transaction.

There are some people you just can't please. You should direct those people to your competitors.

Then Jerry explains how to start a positive Word-of-Mouth blitz campaign, including how to plan the campaign and initiate it by encouraging employees to talk positively about your company.

Jerry caps off the book with 100 little things you can do to fire up your Word-of-Mouth Marketing Program.

No company can profitably endure without the enthusiastic support of its employees and its customers. Read Word of Mouth Marketing to build these key assets for your business.

Buy it on Amazon: Word-Of-Mouth Marketing.

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Jerry R. Wilson's book, Word-of-Mouth Marketing, explains how building your business with referrals in mind will help you maximize the value of each client.


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Michael Gray, CPA
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