“Word-of-mouth is one of the most credible forms of advertising. It is effective, influential and a reliable tonic for business success.”
Innovation drives evolution; evolution seeds opportunities, and opportunities surface competition. The current business scenario, is like a souk offering a myriad of choices to people. It may get extremely difficult for companies (viz. telecom, airline, hospitality, travel, etc.) to preserve their market edge and differentiation merely by price or products. A product, its features and pricing strategies can easily be mimicked and re-offered with a subtle twist by a competing brand. Early adopting of the product due to its compelling pricing strategy, can have an immediate effect in solving consumer problems/dissatisfaction and winning new customers. However, this insulated solution will not be enough to foster customer loyalty.
It’s about time companies widening their view and fine-tune strategies beyond product user/customer experience and think of the overall ecosystem and how the touch-points are influencing people.
The secret recipe for preserving customers and engaging potential customers, may be the result of a well-designed people experience impact (PEI) approach. Said approach explores the relationship between people (potential customers + customers), brands, and how the interaction with different brand service channels will influence the entire journey of becoming a potential customer to being a loyal customer.
Shaping a quality service delivery ecosystem is about… tuning the ecosystem’s power of persuasion and inducing trust.
- look at services as they cut across touch-points in the context of people’s journey and not in isolation
- be sensitive to channels beyond digital (web, mobile, television,interactive voice response) such as human (call-center, channel partners, etc.) or physical (brochure, etc.)
- study the scene (ext.) and behind the scene (int.) systems and functions
While businesses are willing to spend billions in advertising, study shows that word-of-mouth is a credible and strong form of advertising. Thus, steering customers with good experiences your way, and this can be far more influential than paid advertising.
“Word-of-mouth is the valuable currency in today’s advertising-saturated world.” — Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell, authors of Creating Customer Evangelists
With growing market demands and service channels, it may be challenging for a company to sustain and upkeep the ecosystem. Slicing a fraction of the budget for continuous PEI studies will ensure delivery of top quality experiences and services, thereby fostering customer relationship, spawn value and ensuring sustainability.
“As a consumer of various services and products I value personal recommendations more than gimmicky advertising…let me know how you feel.”