Word of Mouth Tactics – Part 3

Previously, we discussed how word of mouth tactics help you develop a system to increase profits by shortening the customer decision cycle. Now, we’re going a step further to explain the nine levels of word of mouth. This gives you a valuable tool to measure the value of this marketing tactic on your company, products and services. Then, you’ll be able to see where negative and weak results are coming from and how to fix it.

The Nine Levels Of Word Of Mouth

As previously discussed, word of mouth is both positive and negative. That means, of course, that some levels are negative, while others are positive. The level also dictates the overall power of the recommendation or lack thereof. Let’s start from the worst word of mouth marketing to the best.

Minus 4

This is scandal level and means your product, service or brand is getting the worst attention possible. Remember when popular over-the-counter pain relieves, like Tylenol, were deemed unsafe? No one wants that kind of word of mouth.

Minus 3

You have a growing number of disgruntled customers that are going above and beyond to stop others from interacting with your business. Usually, they’re boycotting you.

Minus 2

Word of mouth hasn’t led to boycotting just yet. However, customers are more than happy to tell others about their negative experience. They may or may not be sharing their negative experience on multiple online platforms.

Minus 1

This level can be confusing. You have mildly dissatisfied customers that aren’t outwardly talking about it. However, if someone does ask them directly, they’ll share their opinion. People will give you a second chance at this level, though.

Level 0

At this level, word of mouth could go either way. Customers are purchasing from you, but don’t spread the word. There also aren’t many people asking about you either. While things could shift either way, you’ll definitely want to work to create a positive level from here.

Plus 1

Now, word of mouth is starting to work for you a little. You’re pleasing customers, but despite their satisfaction, nothing stands out enough for them to actively recommend you unless asked.

Plus 2

Customers are more eager to talk about you. They may bring it up in conversation naturally. However, they’ll definitely share how much they love your products/services when asked.

Plus 3

This is a great level to be at. Customers are eager to share their positive experiences about your products/services, company and overall experience with others. Think of this level in the same way that people recommend favorite movies to others.

Plus 4

Level Plus 4 is the goal for every business. You’re the talk of the town and positive buzz is everywhere. People are sharing their experiences and recommending products and services on all platforms. 


If you want to see Plus 4 companies in action, check out:

  • Harley Davidson
  • Apple Computers
  • Celestial Teas

Use all of the above to figure out what type of word of mouth marketing you’re generating. Need help with this process? Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more

Also, stay tuned for the next part of this series that talks about the 30 ways to harness the power of word of mouth.

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