Types and Levels of Communication Word of Mouth (WOM)

Posted by The New Economics Education

Hughes (2005) suggested that the types of word of mouth communication (WOM) can be classified into two types: positive word of mouth communication and the communication of negative word of mouth. Positive WOM communication is the process of delivering information through word of mouth that made by one individual to another individual based on the experience that is positive about a product, service, or company. Meanwhile, negative WOM communication is a process of interaction of word of mouth that is based on negative experiences gained from one individual to another individual of a product, service or company.

Experience that is positive implies that the experience gained either an individual or individuals directly or indirectly to the use of a product, service or company along with the satisfaction or fulfillment of individual expectations. Conversely, negative experiences are the experiences gained in the individual either directly or indirectly, that is not accompanied by contentment. In other words, products or services consumed can not meet expectations (Hughes, 2005).

Associated with the types of WOM communications, Hughes (2005) classifies the word of mouth communication (WOM) to 9 level or levels that started from minus 4 to plus 4. At the level of minus 4, the information conveyed through word of mouth are the things that are negative, whereas the level of information conveyed plus 4 are the things that are positive. Positive WOM communication falls into tiers or levels plus 1 to plus 4, while negative WOM communication belong to the level of minus 1 to minus 4.

Levels of word of mouth communication (WOM) can be described as follows (Hughes (2005):
1.    Levels of minus 4
Levels of minus 4 describes a condition or state of talks about a product or a company that involves many people who complain or kornplain. At this level are often referred to as a public scandal, which means that all the people moving actively to seek out and advise not to use products or services of their respective companies. This situation could adversely impact the company's products bersangkuan even if no immediate action that is anticipatory of internal party companies.

2.    Minus 3 levels
Rate minus 3 describes the condition or circumstances regarding the use of a product or service that is experienced by individuals who continued with the provision of advice to other individuals not to use the product or service in question. Level is different from the level of minus 4 because it has not reached a public scandal.

3.    Depth minus 2
Level minus 2 describes the condition or state of dissatisfaction experienced by individuals associated with the use of the product or service. Dissatisfaction in this level is not indicated clearly in the sense that the individual concerned will not remain silent when asked a question related to the product, but dissatisfaction is shown clearly when the individual consulted associated with the same product.

4.    Levels minus 1
Rate minus 1 describes the condition or circumstances of the individuals who make complaints against a product or service indirectly. Although not active, the condition is still classified in negative WOM communication, so it needs to do a better marketing effort to minimize negative WOM.

5.    Levels of 0
Level 0 in WOM communication describes the condition or circumstances of the individual who uses a product or service without complaint or complaint or indicates satisfaction.

6.    Levels plus 1
Rate plus 1 illustrates the conditions or individual circumstances that indicate satisfaction gained in using a product or service by commenting that good or positive about the product or service.

7.    Levels plus 2
Level 2 in the drawing WOM communication conditions or individual circumstances that indicate its satisfaction for a product or service by providing a good or positive comments with great interest. At this level, the conventional marketing strategies contributed less meaningful because at this level need an accommodation to any individual situation still talk about the benefits of the product concerned.

8.    Levels plus 3
Level 3 describes the condition or circumstances of the individual who tried to convince other people about the advantages of a product or service or in other words, individuals try to convince other people that a particular product or service has a very good quality.

9.    Levels plus 4
Level 4 in WOM communication is the level or the highest level in this kind of positive WOM communication. At this level describes the condition of individuals who talk about the benefits of a product or service on an ongoing basis which means that the individual obtains satisfaction in using the product or service in question. In this stage, companies must be able to maintain customer satisfaction or if the consumer or customer because the customer was not met his expectations, then this level will be turned into a kind of negative WOM communication.

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