Word-of-mouth effect on book sales and opinion leadership in international book market

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Yick, Sin Ting
Issue Date
MSc in International Business
Dublin Business School / University of Wales
Jeffrey Bezos, Amazon's Founder and Chief Executive Officer felt that follow-through on customer service was more important in the digital world than in the traditional retail world, because of the increased impact of on-line communications: Customer service is probably the most important thing in retail, no matter what form the business takes (Louise, 1997). But on-line it's even more important than in the physical world. And the reason is that on-line, if you make a customer unhappy, they won't tell six friends, they'll tell six thousand friends - e-mail lists, news groups, and so on. People have a very powerful voice on-line, and you know that everybody can have a megaphone on-line (Louise, 1997). On the other hand, if you do everything that you say you'll do, if you treat your customers well, serve them in the ways you've promised, then you will have the opposite effect. You'll have powerful word-of-mouth from each of your customers. These guys will go on-line and tell people - not just six friends but six thousand people to "Come try Amazon.com" (Louise, 1997). Word-of-mouth has become more important than ever because it can make huge benefit to your business or ruin your business. Marketers should wisely manage how others talk about their businesses, no matter customers or your staff. This is especially true when we are living in this century - the knowledge economy era which our main industries are services. Satisfying our customers' need has become our first priority.