Bad Service News Travels Fast
Unhappy customers are not quiet ones. That’s the finding
of new research by Colloquy that
shows negative word of mouth travels quickly to friends, family and coworkers.
percent of consumers say they share bad experiences with family and friends,
while 42 percent do the same when they are happy.
of those surveyed said they are more likely to spread negative opinions than
Even among brand loyalists — WOM Champions, in Colloquy terms
— 31 percent were more likely to share negative experiences. Affluent consumers
were among the biggest bad-mouthers with 30 percent more likely to complain
than say something positive.
Colloquy labeled consumers who are most likely to share bad experiences
as “madvocates.” Pure madvocates, according to the research, make
up about seven percent of the population.
“It’s notable that the ‘madvocacy’ attitude is significantly more
prevalent among word-of-mouth champions (31 percent) than the general population
(26 percent),” said Kelly Hlavinka, managing partner at Colloquy. “One
lesson is clear, hell hath no fury like a champion scorned. Since madvocacy
is an attitude that nearly a third of all champions share and are willing to
act upon, loyalty marketers must accept their responsibility for the impact
their programs can have on generating both positive and negative word of mouth.”
Sullivan, partner at Colloquy, said, retailers and brands can work to
into advocates.” He suggested three steps:
- Create a “trialogue” between the brand and consumers and also
- Involve customers in WOM programs through social sharing communities online.
- Move from the marketing mindset of offering incentives to providing service.
- One Quarter of U.S. Consumers Far More Likely to Spread the Word About
a Bad Experience than a Good One – Colloquy
Discussion Questions: What are your recommendations for turning “madvocates into advocates”?