When you really step back from the whole word of mouth marketing thing – and that subset within word of mouth called “social media” (ever heard of it?) – you realize that what’s driving it all. And it’s people’s desire for accountability.
Now, accountability is a big ‘ol scary word… and probably gets scarier the bigger the company. But in today’s world, if you want to be relevant, you have to be accountable.
Accountability carries a lot of baggage with it. It means you’re holding yourself to a higher standard. That you’re stepping up and taking responsibility for when you screw up. That you’re raising your hand and saying to your customers “I’m here. I’m the one. You can rely on me and when I mess up, I’m the one to blame.”
When you have a problem and you want to talk to a company to remedy it, it’s still not that uncommon to get passed around as employee after employee deflects responsibility. “It’s not my problem,” or “That’s not my job,” still permeates a lot of the halls of large and small companies alike. And this comes from a culture of not caring. Of no accountability.
But the great thing about accountability is that is also provides freedom. Because when we take responsibility for the good and the not-so-good we do, we build trust. We gain respect. We form relationships that last. And that is one of the building blocks of a movement.