Word of Mouth Drives Brand Affinity

A survey from Kentico Software, a Web content and customer experience management provider, found that word of mouth weighs most heavily in strengthening or eroding brand affinity.


Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed said that they consider word of mouth to influence them the most when considering a brand, followed by company Web sites (25 percent) and in-store experience (18 percent). However, only 7 percent of respondents felt their brand experience was affected via such social networks as Facebook or Twitter.


Forty-eight percent of those surveyed prefer email over any other form of communication, including phone (19 percent), Web site (18 percent), in-person (13 percent, chat (2 percent), texting (zero percent), and social networking sites (zero percent).


However, customer comfort levels with the digital experience overall is high, with 56 percent saying that they would most likely to be at their computer and 10 percent on a mobile device when communicating with or buying from a company. Only 24 percent are more likely to interact in person with businesses in stores or via the phone (10 percent).


In terms of preventing mistakes, businesses are advised not to keep the customer waiting, with 45 percent of those surveyed saying that wait times in the store, on the phone or online is their biggest customer complaint. Thirty-two percent said they were most put off by unhelpful company reps. Other recipes for bad experiences include: inferior Web sites (9 percent), too much e-mail (nine percent), untargeted promotions (four percent), and unresponsiveness on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks (one percent).