Developing a marketing strategy on the web can be very overwhelming. With so many websites out there, it seems impossible to get your name out there to everyone. There are entire books dedicated towards managing your reputation online. You can check Google alerts on your company constantly. You can be in every forum and at every conference. If your customers don’t like you, they will spread the word about your lack of care well beyond your own control.
Why is abiding by the Golden Rule more important than ever?
- According to a study conducted by TARP, a company specializing in the advantages of interaction, the average dissatisfied customer tells twice as many people about his or her negative experience than a happy one. This perhaps is not fair, but it is the unfortunate reality.
- There are also more means for merchants to express their dissatisfaction than ever before. If a customer had a negative experience in your store prior to the internet, he or she just told friends how bad it was. Now, customers can write blogs, talk in forums, join social networks, or microblog using services like Twitter. The marketer can interact with customers more than ever before, but so now can other consumers. If you offer amazing service, praises of you could spread before you can even build the infrastructure to support it. If you aren’t paying attention, words of your misdeeds or even perceived misdeeds could be all over the internet before you know it.
- Employees are also enabled by the social web. Are you fair and honest with your customers? Do you treat employees well and give them the tools they need to succeed? Short from legal means, there is no means to control what your employees say and do not say about your company.
You can try and control what is and is not said about you, or you can face the inevitable fact that the social web exists. Offer your customers a product or service that improves their lives. Seek honest feedback. If they leave happy, you can ask them to help spread the word.