The power of the consumer
Before the internet existed consumers were not in an admirable place. Before Google Places, Angie’s List, Kudzu, and other review sites much of the power balance between consumer and business was in favor of the business sector. But nowadays with sites like the above mentioned ones and also Facebook,Twitter, Digg, Etc we have seen a universal shifting of power back to the consumer. Big brands can no longer provide service at a less then par performance and expect to see revenue increases. Everyone has heard of the old term 6 degrees of separation. Whether you provide a good or bad service to a particular individual that individual will likely tell his friends about it, who will in turn tell his friends. I like to think of the internet as 6 degrees of separation on steroids. Instead of a person having to open his or her mouth to talk positively or negatively about a company they can simply do so with a few strokes of the key. The shift of power that has occurred means companies need to be providing superior value to their customers now more then ever before. This also mean companies need to monitor their social media and review site presence on a regular basis to ensure customer satisfaction 24/7 to be there when your company goofs up to make things right again.
One other interesting fact that I found online is that a person is 5 times more likely to write a review about a bad experience they had then a good one. This in return means you need to actively pursue your satisfied customer base to write positive reviews for you, but that will be a whole different post. Until next time, have a good one!