Basing Your Marketing Plan on Personal Recommendations: Responsibility
Because of the nature of friendship, personal recommendations carry with them a degree of responsibility for the outcome. If your friend introduces someone to you who turns out to be untrustworthy, it can deeply strain the friendship, and your friend must make a sincere attempt to make the situation right or risk eroding your friendship. Obviously, carelessly recommending a business can also strain a friendship. Imagine your feelings if a friend recommended a carpenter who tried to jack up the price in the middle of the job, or a computer consultant who screwed up your payroll system and then disappeared two days before payday.
And if a product or service you recommend to someone doesn’t work out, it’s not always clear what you can do to deal with your friend’s hurt feelings. For example, if your favorite hairdresser gives your mother-in-law a frizzy permanent, you will probably hear about it for years, whether you buy her a filet mignon dinner or not.
Given the responsibility that goes with making a recommendation, people will not recommend your business unless they feel confident in it. As a direct consequence, your business policies and practices concerning errors, mistakes, and problems are of great concern to your customers who make recommendations. They will recommend your business only if they can really trust you to stand behind your product or service should something go wrong.
Source: Michael Phillips & Salli Rasberry, “Marketing Without Advertising: Easy Ways to Build a Business Your Customers Will Love and Recommend,” Nolo, 2008
Republished by Why Online Marketing