Word of mouth undeniably remains one of the most valuable forms of marketing, especially for a small business without an endless advertising budget. It involves satisfied customers telling their friends and families about your goods or services and encouraging them to buy from you. This is invaluable, as sharing their experiences within their close circles vastly increases the likelihood of securing new loyal customers.
Here are ten ways to help you build word of mouth marketing for your growing business:
- Create word of mouth marketing goals
In order to see if your strategies are effective, establish how you will measure your success; for instance, the number of referral leads per month, or actual sales per referral etc.
- Create a system that encourages referrals
This simply involves rewarding customers who refer clients to you with a discount, free gift or thoughtful incentive.
- Provide products worth talking about
Undoubtedly, if you are simply providing top quality service and products, your customers will gladly talk about your business without any direct stimulation from you.
- Periodically thank customers for their support
This will keep you in their thoughts continually, even if they are not currently thinking of buying from you. At the end of the year, for example, you can dispatch emails to customers thanking them for their support during the course of the year.
- Get active in the local community
Support a credible charity or sponsor a suitable local event, to genuinely show how much you care about the lives of those in the community you operate in.
- Ask new customers how they first heard about you
This information is vital in finding out which channels are most effective in terms of encouraging word of mouth marketing.
- Listen to unhappy customers and resolve their problems as quickly as possible
In this way, you will have a chance to minimise poor publicity or negative word of mouth, while being able to offer an amicable solution. This can actually convert a disgruntled client into a willing brand ambassador.
- Stay active on social media
This is one of the easiest ways of having direct interaction with your customers as you post content of interest to them, such as specials, competitions and other valuable brand and business information.
- Make sure your employees provide great service
It is simply a fact that if your employees are not friendly and helpful, your word of mouth campaign won’t be successful – even if your product or service is supreme.
- Use testimonials on your website and other advertising channels
If a happy customer writes on your Facebook wall, feel free to make it known so that people can see first-hand how satisfied others are with your goods and services.
Remember that, although being a powerful marketing resource, word of mouth still works both ways. If your customers are happy with your products, they will sing your praises; if they are unhappy, they will discourage anyone who will listen from dealing with your business. Start with these ten tips to help assess and develop your word of mouth exposure optimally.
Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).