a social recommendation service that’s pinning its hopes and dreams on the unwavering trust between friends as a key driver for new customers for brands has entered into the market – Recomazing.
Launched in Sydney last night, Recomazing’s founder Marc Cowper (pictured above) insisted his baby was not another new social network nor was it a review site. He insisted it was a “consumer first, brands second” free service for Australians to find, share and store trusted business recommendations between their existing social network.
The system is reliant on Facebook’s ongoing benevolence if it’s not to suffer a similar fate to that suffered by Meerkat at the hands of Twitter once it bought Periscope. Cowper insisted that he was comfortable in Facebook’s ongoing support and that they could switch social media platforms in a heart beat.
Businesses simply create a profile to enable their customers to give them a recommendation – or ‘reco’ as Recomazing calls it – and the customers’ entire social network can then see it. So if a person is searching for an online course, a mortgage broker or a web designer they can check out their friends’ recommendations first on Recomazing before making their purchase decision.
Cowper said Recomazing was already helping 5,000 Aussie businesses capitalise on their amazing customer service.
Built on a freemium model, Recomazing is free for SMEs like hairdressers and mechanics, but then charges for larger organisations as much as $30,000 per annum. Virgin Mobile has signed on as a founding customer.
Nicole Bardsley, director of Virgin Mobile brand and communications, said Recomazing provides a way to capitalise on its commitment to customer service by identifying advocates and enhancing their positive influence to drive referrals.
“With the launch of Recomazing comes a unique way for Virgin Mobile to leverage our great customer advocacy and high ‘likelihood to recommend’ to bring more customers over to Virgin Mobile, where we know they’ll have a great experience,” said Bardsley.
Significantly, Recomazing does not have the facility to publish any negative reviews, but is in fact more of a sophisticated way of ‘liking’ a company exclusively within an individual’s friend’s network.
A report by Nielsen has found 85 per cent of consumers in the Asia Pacific say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, a form of earned media, above all other sources of advertising. The study also revealed, 88 per cent take action on recommendations made by family and friends.
To help with the launch, Recomazing conducted a survey of 1000 Aussie consumers, which found a slim majority of respondents (52 per cent) said that they’re likely to act upon a friend’s purchase recommendation despite reading a negative review about the service online.
Cowper said there is a real consumer demand for fantastic customer service experiences.
“The study revealed the number one reason Aussies are seeking friend recommendations is to avoid bad customer service experiences. It is important for businesses to understand that Australians rank having a good customer service experience above saving time and money.