What you measure influences how much word of mouth you get

by Kristofer Mencák on March 1, 2009

It is interesting to see how different rules within businesses shape the way people within them behave. It is even more interesting to see how what these result in over time.

Even though they might have a short term benefit, rules and incentives can hinder a business on a longer perspective. The boundaries an employee has to keep within, the reward systems and internal goals (within customer service for example x number of calls per hour) are not in accordance with higher level goals. It is very hard to provide “world class service” if you have strict rules on what you are allowed to do and what not and can do it only within, say six minutes, if not less.

What a business measures, evaluates and rewards influences…
… how employees act, which influences…
… how clients are treated, which influences…
… how satisfied customers are, which influences…
… how positive they become towards the business, which influences…
… how likely they are to spread positive word of mouth, which influences…
… how well the business will do in the future.

So, what is measured and evaluated within a business is extremely influential on how people act. If you are not rewarded for solving problems, the business will never be able to provide world class service. If you only get x minutes per customer, independently on whether you solve the problem or not, it gets even harder to reach that goal.

The culture within the business is very important for how employees behave, and it is often created by explicit rules within the business, like evaluations and reward systems.

With social media’s leverage effect on word of mouth (both positive and negative) it is now even more important to measure, evaluate and reward the right things – the things that over time can increase word of mouth.These are tough times for many businesses. Word of mouth costs nothing in media buying. But, it still requires efforts and investments to get this “free” marketing. Are you measuring the right things?

It’s not rocket science, but it’s worth thinking about it even more when costs are in focus.

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