Positive and Negative Word of Mouth are not Necessarily Opposites


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Positive and Negative Word of Mouth are not Necessarily Opposites

  1. 1. BSI Positive and Negative Word of Mouth are not Necessarily Opposites Marketing 2.0 Conference, Hamburg 2005
  2. 2. BSI Join the conversation MARKETING 2.0 CONFERENCE Paris, France 28/29 March 2011 www.marketing2conference.com
  3. 3. Positive and Negative Word-Of-Mouth are not Necessarily Opposites Jill Sweeney University of Western Australia p1
  4. 4. Background (1) Organisations striving to achieve and retain competitive advantage; Consumers are becoming more demanding and discerning; Competition increasing; WOM offers point of differentiation; More effective than advertising (Day, 1971); Works in conjunction with advertising (Hogan et al., 2004) p2
  5. 5. Background (2) • Often used as an outcome of a model: • service quality (Zeithaml et al., 1996) • customer value (Hartline and Jones, 1996) • service recovery efforts (Maxham and Netemeyer, 2002) • Hence in positive sense p3
  6. 6. Background (3) • Most previous research on positive WOM; • Despite the oft quoted belief that dissatisfied consumers engage in more WOM than satisfied consumers (Heskett, Sasser and Schlessinger 1997; Mangold, Miller and Brockway 1999; Sweeney 2003); and • Negative information has greater impact on evaluations than positive information (Arndt, 1967; Mittal, Ross and Baldasare, 1998) p4
  7. 7. Differences? • Are there any differences in the emotional and cognitive content of positive or negative WOM? • Is the core message different for positive or negative WOM? • Are negative messages stronger (e.g. due to emotions such as anger) than positive messages? • Does negative WOM have a greater effect on opinion than positive WOM, as found by Arndt (1967) and suggested by Prospect Theory? • Satisfaction and dissatisfaction not opposites on emotional circumplex p5
  8. 8. Our full study - Examining WOM from both giver and receiver viewpoint, i.e. whole cycle; Study model 1: The effect of perceived value on word- of- mouth communication (current customers/members) Perceived value Word of mouth Satisfaction p6
  9. 9. Our full study Study model 2: The effect of word- of- mouth communication on expected value and outcomes (potential customers/members) Word of Actual joining mouth from Expected Intention to Intentions to join ActualAc behaviour any value join (StateWest) tu sources* p7
  10. 10. First phase (this study) • Qualitative: • Six focus groups – 54 people • 92 Critical incident forms (CIT): -each person -one positive WOM, one negative WOM, -half from giver of WOM, half from receiver. p8
  11. 11. Analysed (positive vs negative) • 1) whether the message was emotional, cognitive or both, • 2) the content (i.e. message core), • 3) the reason for givers passing on the comment, • 4) strength of message • 5) how the giver or receiver felt as a result of the comment; and • 6) whether the receiver acted or not on the WOM. p9
  12. 12. Table 1: Emotional and cognitive Positive WOM Negative WOM Total N 48 44 92 Mainly emotional 8.3% 63.6% 34.8% Both emotional and cognitive aspects 20.8% 20.5% 20.7% Mainly cognitive 70.8% 15.9% 44.6% χ2=35.73 p<0.01 p10
  13. 13. Table 2: Message content Positive WOM Negative WOM Total N 46 44 90 Service quality 58.7% 36.4% 47.8% (Dis)satisfaction 4.3% 59.1% 31.1% Contrast of perceptions to expectations 13.0% 2.3% 7.8% Perceptions of value 10.9% - 5.6% Recommendation 13.0% 2.3% 7.8% χ2=35.50 p<0.01 p11
  14. 14. Table 3: Feelings as a result of comment Positive WOM Negative WOM Total N 45 41 86 Concerned about being intrusive 6.7% - 3.5% Confident, encouraged 13.3% - 7.0% Pleased to help/hinder 22.2% 2.4% 12.8% company/acknowledge good service Satisfied, better, relieved 40.0% 39.0% 39.5% Nothing much 2.2% 17.1% 9.3% Negative emotions 2.2% 14.6% 8.1% Rational comment 13.3% 9.8% 11.6% Sympathy, empathy - 17.1% 8.1% χ2=31.84 p<0.01 p12
  15. 15. Reasons for giving Strength Reason for (WOM givers) passing on the message, • to help/warn (26.5%), • to share the experience (28.6%) and • emotional aspects (26.5%) • Surprising service levels (Perceptions-Expectations) 8.2% Strength • 24.5% very strong • 51% strong • 24.5% not so strong p13
  16. 16. . Table 4: Whether comment received changed opinion (receivers only) Positive WOM Negative WOM Total N= 21 17 38 Yes 38.1% 70.6% 52.6% No 61.9% 29.4% 47.4% χ2=3.98 p<0.10 p14
  17. 17. Table 5: Whether acted on positive comment received (receivers only) N= 23 Yes 91.3% No 8.7% p15
  18. 18. Negative WOM passed on more quickly, dissipates later • “I told most people to give the mechanic a go. I also told them about his reliability, good service, willingness to help, willingness to get your car back to you as soon as possible.” • “In all my years of buying cars, I have never struck anybody like the dealer at XXX Mitsubishi – obliging, courteous, no false promises and cooperative.” • “It was a really bad experience, and so exasperating that I had to tell someone as soon as I could” • “My negative WOM has been when I’m pissed off. Within a week of the experience, after that you’ve probably cooled down. During that week some people are going to hear about what annoyed me.” • “If I had really poor service somewhere and I bumped into someone walking into that shop I would probably say, “Don’t go in there- It’s crap.” regardless of whether I knew them or not.” p16
  19. 19. Figure 1 Difference between positive and negative WOM in terms or urge to give over time Urge to give WOM Relating to Incident Positive Negative Time after Incident p17
  20. 20. Factors preventing negative WOM (1) Organisational advocacy: • If someone has given you good service I like to promote them to give them more work, to help them and to promote their business. • See if you have a negative experience with an organization is doesn’t necessarily mean that the next person is going to have a negative experience either…I don’t think that it’s fair for anyone to really sort of blurt out a completely negative experience. p18
  21. 21. Factors preventing negative WOM (2) Fear of Intrusion: • You are just elaborating on your experience and to my mind you leave it up to them to suss it out for themselves. • You could give them your opinion and then if asked you could expand further which is generally the safer way of doing it. To go beyond that point you are intruding upon and pushing that person towards that particular place too much. • I think you tend to say “look I went to this restaurant and we didn’t find it very good” but that’s not to say that I would say “you mustn’t go” because I don’t know if a person would dislike it too. p19
  22. 22. Factors preventing negative WOM impacting (1) Credibility/validity • Sometimes when people are telling you something bad about something then I usually step back and think ‘well who are you trying to convince?’ They can be too convincing and you think are you trying to convince me or yourself? • I don’t always believe word of mouth because sometimes you do need proof about those things before you get convinced to act upon that. • Its something that you have gotta take carefully. • I usually like to try and form my own opinion – I always listen to advice but in the end the decision is mine and I take time to think about it… p20
  23. 23. Factors preventing negative WOM impacting (2) Cumulative positive experience • You may give positive when people say, “I had this bad experience at such and such an institution.” And you go, “Wait a minute, I’ve heard good things about them”. p21
  24. 24. When can negative WOM be turned to advantage? Memorable advertising, negative to positive: • Sometimes they do provoke conversations – it may not be [name of financial institution] and you may not like it but it might turn the conversation on to that. • Looking at a certain advert you can say “oh that looks interesting” and talk about it. You might say “Oh have you seen that ad? God its stupid blah blah”.... [Example of a beer ad involving a wandering tongue]- it does lead you to discuss the advert… p22
  25. 25. • I think that the Statewest [credit society] promotion, you know people lying in beds of worms and all that put me off completely and I said something at head office and they smiled, ”I know it’s wonderful, we got lots of enquiries. I thought it was stupid, but we did talk about it [Statewest].(M7 2 5) • It might jog your memory or your subconscious if you haven’t experienced that company for a while and then if something comes along then you think maybe they have changed (M8 2 5) • Sometimes they do provoke conversations – it may not be StateWest and you may not like it but it might turn the conversation on to that (M 2 6) p23
  26. 26. Summary • Positive WOM: – more rationale, considered – Driven by service quality – longer term • Negative WOM – more likely to be driven by anger and frustration, dissatisfaction – Shorter term • Negative WOM more likely to change views p24
  27. 27. Your opinions? • We are currently thinking our way through these differences and what it means in terms of implications to marketers • We are interested in your ideas and comments. p25
  28. 28. Figure 1: A Suggested Word of Mouth Model Triggers (giver) •Responding to recognised need •Serendipity •Adv/Promotion Outcome (receiver) Antecedents WOM (giver) Expected value (i.e., message Richness of message Expected service quality content) (giver) Strength of advocacy Perceived risk in buying Service quality reduced Satisfaction Improved product perceptions Value Conditions (giver) •Organizational advocacy •Closeness of giver and receiver •Self-confidence of giver •Low risk associated with communication p26