The paper “ Why Should Companies’ Service Managers Control the Word of Mouth? " is an intriguing example of term paper on marketing. A strong correlation exists between the growth rate of a company and the percentage of customers who are also promoters of the services offered by such a company. One of the important tools used by many customers in spreading the good or the bad image of the company depending on how satisfied they felt when they were served in the same company or organization is the word of mouth. The Word Of MouthWord of mouth refers to the passing of information through verbal means, especially recommendations.
This is done through an informal person to a person's form of communication. Jackson (1985) observes that it is typically considered to be a face to face type of communication. Text messages via SMS, web dialog such as online profiles, message board threads, blog posts, emails, and instant messages are also included in this category. It is commonly used in describing positive information spread rather than negative as is the case with gossips, innuendo, hearsay, and rumors.
Word of mouth marketing is also called ‘ buzz marketing’ or ‘ viral marketing’ . It is highly valued by marketers because of its personal nature of communications between different individuals. Though neglected and ignored by many marketing managers of service companies or organizations, a word of mouth can either accelerate the growth rate of the company or become a stumbling block. Research has pointed to individuals as being more likely to incline to believe the word of mouth than any other form of communication. (Charlett et al 1995) According to Kother (1999), the receiver of the word spoken by mouth believes that the person giving the information does so honestly.
The receiver believes that he or she does not harbor any ulterior motives because there is no incentive for their referrals. With the web 2.0 emergence, many web startups like youtube, facebook, Digg, and myspace have utilized ‘ buzz marketing’ through merging it with social networks that have been developed by them. The increased use of the internet as a communication platform and as a research tool, word of mouth has, therefore, become a useful source of information to both marketers and consumers.
The online buzz tracking has led to an increase in a range of tools and components of online public relations. Buzz monitoring is used in social media marketing and public relations in order to track relevant conversations via the internet. A successful example to prove the power underlying the word of mouth in service companies is Gmail-Google marketing. There was no money that was spent on marketing it. Scarcity was created by allowing only a handful of power users. Other people who wanted to be like the power users desired to have the Gmail account and this manifested itself in their Gmail invites on eBay.
The cachet of having a Gmail account resulted in word of mouth rather than any other marketing activity being carried out by Google. Most of the service companies adopt the ‘ net promoter’ score. This is used by the management in order to gauge the company’ s customer relationship. This tool is an alternative to traditional satisfaction research that is carried on various customers of a given company (Merak, 2007).