Word of Mouth and Our Ego

Results from a recently released study titled “Word of Mouth the #1 Influence on Business Buying Decisions” by the Keller Fay Group showed that word of mouth is the #1 influence on business purchase decisions and is best leveraged through face-to-face marketing efforts. There was one little tidbit included in the press release that didn’t get much mention, but I found it particularly revealing. That is that “fewer than one in 10 conversations advise avoiding a brand.” It made me question that old adage that said one unhappy customer will tell nine others. Maybe a little insight into consumer, and human behavior might explain this new finding. With larger purchases and especially business purchases where the stakes are higher, we have more invested in the decision, and at times it can become personal. If that purchase goes wrong many of us may not tell others because we don’t want to admit to others that we made a bad decision. Granted there are times when the company totally blew it and you just need to vent to anyone who will listen, or sometimes you just don’t want to spread negative talk. But I wonder how much of this finding is the result of ego. What’s your take on this?

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