The Hidden Costs of Word of Mouth

Marketing /

March 2024

If you have been running your business based solely on Word of Mouth, hats off to you! This speaks volumes about your brand. You’ve put in some hard yards with your customers to create positive experiences, resulting in some impressive reviews to keep the doors of your business open. It’s clear, you’re great at what you do, and it should be celebrated.

We understand why… WOM is a powerful tool! With 92% of people trusting recommendations from family and friends above any other forms of advertising.

Although applaudable for business owners who have established and maintained their business with WOM, if you rely on this tactic alone you could be causing your business more harm than good.

But how can this be the case? WOM has always worked just fine for you, it’s the only tactic you’ve ever needed. Has it really been enough? Or have you become complacent, and just accepted this is your ‘best’? Maybe you’re unaware of the additional revenue you could gain by doing more. Maybe you’re also accepting the unpredictable peaks and troughs in monthly revenue…

By relying on WOM alone, you are allowing your customers to determine the success of your sales. This can leave you experiencing unpredictable downturns in your business. Of course, some months could be great! But just like a rollercoaster, sales will continue to fluctuate each month without any rhyme or reason. (Along with your stress levels!)

Sounding familiar?


Why relying on WOM isn’t enough


Referrals can be flaky

Often in today’s world, a well-intended referral may be sought on an online platform like Facebook.

For example: “I’m looking for a cleaner in Newtown to clean once a week on a Thursday, can you recommend anyone?” … multiple people respond, including some cleaning companies.

We’ve all experienced this style of post, right? But it’s not often that the person who posted it engages with anyone who was referred or recommended in the post.


Why? This could be for a multitude of reasons:

  • A busy lifestyle leads to distractions
  • They’ve already booked in with another company
  • They have notifications turned off, or they miss the notification completely
  • Lack of interest – The topic is not something of general interest right now so they’re not completely invested in doing further research on the recommendations
  • They may look you up on other platforms like social accounts and your website and not proceed further
  • They may check your reviews and decide not to contact you

Statistics show that 96% of unhappy customers won’t directly reach out to the company to complain about a bad experience. Instead, they will share their bad experience with between 9-15 people. It then takes around 40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage that was created by that single negative review.

Are you still a believer that WOM is the only tactic you need to survive? Or are you ready to thrive?

The reality is, it’s time to step up your marketing game and take your business to new heights (and stay there). The saying is true, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

It’s 2024, the headaches associated with relying solely on WOM can be a distant memory of the past. Ever wondered what it could be like to no longer ride the rollercoaster, and have more predictable sales month to month?

word of mouth

Unleash the power of WOM

WOM has most likely been around since the stone age, but just like the evolution of cavemen, the digital world has evolved in leaps and bounds, and leaving WOM to do its own thing just isn’t good enough anymore.

People often need to see your brand more than once before they can confidently take the next step in making contact. So, why not enhance the positive feedback that is already circling about your brand and amplify it to further build trust, credibility, and loyalty.

With the increased use of digital platforms, the possibilities to engage and reach a larger audience is better than ever before.

Here are some simple ways you can harness WOM to distribute your message far and wide:

  • Re-sharing positive customer feedback by posting on Social Media
  • Request reviews from existing customers
  • Promote positive reviews and testimonials on your website
  • Show appreciation by creating a loyalty or referral program to reward your loyal customers
  • Engage and promote those who support you
  • Replying to customer reviews or comments in a timely manner

If this sounds like hard work, we’ve got your back, stay tuned for assistance with this…



Digital age WOM

When a referral is passed on about a brand or service, it’s more than likely your potential customers will take to Facebook, Instagram, or even Tik Tok to influence their decision on whether they wish to contact you or not.

81% of purchasing decisions are made from Social Media posts, so it’s more apparent than ever that being active on social media is extremely important to engage with your audience and potential buyers.

If you are not actively posting on your social platforms, this is a clear indicator you may no longer be in business and chances are you’ve lost your potential customer to a competitor, faster than you can say “oops!”

Along with Social Platforms, customers will take to your website, so it is important that your ideal method of contact, whether that be email or phone number, is made as clear as possible. If users find your contact information is not easily found on your site, they won’t stick around, and 89% will shop with a competitor instead, after a poor user experience on your website.



Ready to take your business to new heights?

It’s clear that solely relying on WOM to generate the majority of your sales is not the best move.

Cutting costs when it comes to the marketing of your business to save a buck is also counterintuitive. However, this does not mean you need to spend big bucks on marketing to achieve a steady income.

As an experienced Geelong marketing agency, Evolution is here to help you. We will even do it all for you! If you’re experiencing a quiet patch, let us know what your budget is, and we will work with you, staying within budget, to provide ongoing, consistent marketing of your business, resulting in a higher return on investment for you, and less headaches along the way! Let’s get you off that unpredictable revenue rollercoaster, and on the track to calmer, predictable sales forecasts.

Reach out to our team today, contact us or call us on (03) 5222 3328 and let’s chat about your marketing goals!

Signed by Renae


If you want to receive monthly emails from the Evolution team with our latest blog post, hot off the press, please sign up here.