By Barry Moltz
For most of the last century, consumers believed what a company said in its advertisements. A business might hire an advertising agency on Madison Avenue (ala "Mad Men") to come up with a slick slogan delivered by a celebrity in order to influence what the customer would buy.
The Internet has allowed society to move from this one way medium to a more conversational one. It is not surprising that 97% of customers review products online before buying. But, what may be a surprise is the exact information they are researching. Consumers are not only looking at the latest features, prices and availability. They want to know what other consumers are saying about the product and the company. Today, these reviews have a higher level of credibility than any company directed advertising and most directly influence what the consumer eventually buys. Ninety-two percent of consumers say they trust "earned media" (word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family) above allRead More »from Managing Your Reputation is the New Key to Customer Service