Unleash Your Clients’ Power: Create A Word Of Mouth Marketing Strategy
With the incredible advancements that technology has seen in recent years, you’d think that something must have been developed that would help businesses bring in more customers and clients. There must be some new “technological formula”—some kind of guaranteed method that companies could rely on to increase business.
But, guess what? While there have definitely been studies done on what brings in prospects, leads, and customers, and while there have been new methods created and tried, there is one method that has been around for centuries that just can’t be beat.
And the winner is…
Word of mouth marketing! It is still the way most businesses gain clientele. And, you know what? It makes sense. Word of mouth marketing is the most personal form of marketing. It involves one person sharing their excellent experience with someone else, and recommending that company’s service because they have confidence in the abilities and the service that company provides.
Think about it. How many personal recommendations have you given or received? How many of those recommendations impacted the company or product you or someone else chose? Quite a few, right? More than anything else, we trust personal testimonies when it comes to selecting a business or a product to work with.
The numbers prove it.
Even with all the ways companies can put themselves in front of thousands of people, word of mouth marketing still takes the cake.
According to a survey done by Verizon and Small Business Trends, 85% of small businesses said that their customers learned about them through word of mouth marketing. This isn’t surprising when you consider that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from their friends and family more than any other form of advertising, and that personal recommendations account for 20-50% of all purchases made.
And it gets even better. When you’ve given someone excellent service and they refer your company to a friend, how much money has that cost you? Or, when a client refers you because a team member took the time to kindly and thoroughly answer questions they had about a product, how much has that referral cost you? Outside of costs you’d accrue anyway (like actually providing the service, making the product, and hiring team members), those referrals didn’t cost you anything! It’s free advertising.
Really, without a doubt, word of mouth marketing is the most successful, and least expensive form of marketing. Do you need anymore convincing? (I didn’t think so.)
Get the fire started.
I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t really a method to word of mouth marketing, because there is. If you’ve noticed, there isn’t really a way to force or guarantee it. But, you can encourage it—here are some ways to formulate your word of mouth marketing strategy.
1. Rock at providing excellent customer service.
This is probably the most important facet of the word of mouth marketing “method.” When your customers know that they are truly valued and aren’t just a dollar sign to you, they’ll value you, too. Go above and beyond in whatever ways you can.
This also includes addressing customers that might not have been so thrilled with you. Take the time to personally respond to their negative experiences and see if anything can be resolved. This kind of customer service goes a long way with those that did not have a stellar experience with your company.
2. Make it easy for customers to share positive impressions and make referrals.
Be bold and specifically ask for referrals! If you know that you’ve delighted a client, ask them to recommend you to someone they know—they’ll know that you’ll treat their friends and family with the same kind of excellent service. You can also include a “Tell a friend!” link in emails or on your website.
If you want prospective customers to see others’ positive experiences or recommendations online, ask clients if they’d be willing to record a brief testimony that can be posted online, or ask that they post a testimony or review to your Facebook or Google+ page.
3. Learn what your customers are really interested in.
According to a study conducted by Google, TNS Global, and Ogilvy & Mather, “consumers choose the brands that engage them on their passions and interests 42% more often than they do those that simply urge them to buy something.”
When you take the time to learn about what your customers and clients are interested in, you can then deliver content and services that are really going to resonate with them. Study their behaviors and purchase histories to determine what they’d be most interested in learning and receiving. When customers know that you take the time to learn about them, their interests, and what they’re trying to accomplish, they are much more apt to be loyal, rave about your service, and refer others to you.
So, go do what you do best.
If there were a secret formula to encourage word of mouth marketing, it would be this: be a company that commits to providing unbeatable products and excellent service—a company that treats its customers like royalty.
By the way, this doesn’t mean that you should immediately forfeit all other means of marketing or advertising that you currently have. But, hey, maybe you’ll become the textbook example of how to encourage word of mouth marketing and you won’t even have to depend on those other forms of advertising. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
What do you do to encourage word of mouth marketing? Tell us in a comment below!