August 09, 2019 /
Comments Off on The best word-of-mouth is?

The best word-of-mouth is?

We all know that word of mouth is critically important. Word-of-mouth can come from several sources including friends, acquaintances, or even a random comment on a social media post or review site.

But one type of word of mouth is more powerful than the others.

At Service Integrity, we do a lot of studies looking at the power of a staff member recommendation.

Imagine you have to buy some garden mulch at the hardware store.  Some are dearer than others, but overall they look about the same.

All the manufacturers are competing for shelf space and flashy packaging, but you still don’t know what to buy.

Then a staff member comes along and you ask,

“Which would you recommend for….?”

This response has a huge impact on buying behaviour.
If you look at the example of our real world client, we found that:

  • the dearer product (competitor) was 1st recommended 64% of the time and has a 56% market share. We now know that recommendation drives market share.
  • the cheaper product (theirs) was only 1st recommended 31% of the time and has a 32% market share.
Recommendation and Market Share

These recommendations are more important than others because they are at the point of sale and provided by someone seen as a product expert.It’s at this point that a lot of brands fall over with their network management.

Keep in mind, whatever your business, your recommendation has a lot of weight.

I recently recommended a service to a friend who had lots of choices, and she took the one I recommended, not the one she researched. 

Don’t underestimate the power of your words, nor the words of the people selling your brand.

November 05, 2015 /
Comments Off on Episode #17 – Staff recommendations – the secret sauce!

Episode #17 – Staff recommendations – the secret sauce!

We all know the importance of word of mouth (WOM) in Sales.

But there is one type of WOM which is just as important as a recommendation from a friend, namely, a recommendation from a staff member.

We asked 273 Mystery Shoppers and found that a recommendation from a friend is as important as a recommendation from a staff member and whether you previously used the brand.

We asked them to imagine they were buying a BBQ.

Question: Which Brand would they buy?

  1. Brand A recommended by a staff member? 31%
  2. Brand B recommended by a friend? 33%
  3. Brand C a brand they have used before? 36%

It’s very close to ⅓ ⅓ ⅓, meaning that staff recommendations are as important as the others (yet underestimated).

We ask these questions often in our Mystery Shopping company, so we went one step further and asked:

Question: Imagine you are buying a BBQ. You don’t know anything about BBQ’s.

Which brand would you buy?

  1. Brand A which is recommended by the staff member and they explain why it’s the best for you? 76%
  2. Brand B which has the same price and features as Brand A but has the biggest and brightest store display? 6%
  3. Brand C which is 10% cheaper than all the others? 17%
  4. Brand D which is 10% dearer than all the others? 1%

Staff recommendation blows the others away. It’s even much more important that a 10% lower price. If you want to fight price pressures, get staff to recommend the product and explain why they should buy.

Stockbrokers have known this for years, bankers are a little restricted these days, but most other industries should take heed.

This is easy to fix and important.

The language is easy. This is the secret sauce.

“I’d buy this product because…”

“I’d recommend this myself because….”

“I’m looking to buy one myself next year because….”

An easy important fix, and one of our favourite things to measure.