Word of Mouth in the Social Media Age

Word of Mouth Pre-Social Media:

  • A happy customer tells 5 people 
  • An unhappy customer tells 20 people

Word of Mouth Today:

  • A happy customer tells 5 people 
  • An unhappy customer tells 20,000 people

Last night, I went to sushi with a friend who has a seaweed allergy. He has been to this place at least 15 times, and each time they accomodate him and make his rolls with soy paper instead of seaweed. Last night, he ordered as he usually does and 45 minutes later the waitress came to our table almost in tears. She said "I don't know what to say right now, the owners said they cannot do this, it's not possible."

After calmly stating that he has had it done before, just had his corporate party there and that we've already waited 45 minutes, the owners wouldn't budge. They never came to our table and the poor girl had to put out the fire. Little did the sushi place know, they had a well-known Chiropractor, a former employee of that establishment and a social media strategist sitting at that table. We calmly said, there is a lot of word of mouth power sitting at this table. We didn't want it to come down to that, but when they realized what could happen, they were suddenly able to accomodate my friend's seafood allergy. It wasn't really about word of mouth, my friend just wanted to eat dinner!

Over an hour and 15 cold rolls later, my friend had his dinner. There were no apologies or food comps. While they accommodated us in the end, Yelp reviews will be shared and friends will be told. It's one of two sushi restaurants in this town, and I guarantee it won't be the most popular any more.

An unhappy customer tells 20,000 people, and I promise you, 20,000 people will know about our experience.

So, how important and valuable is it for you to amplify Advocates?