Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways that any business can gain new customers and build up their brand. Most customers will put more stock in the opinions of real people than they will any amount of marketing materials that you put out yourself because they have no reason to lie and embellish and because they have tried goods and services themselves, they will know exactly what they are really like.
So, it is really very important that you, as a business owner, do everything you can to ensure that you get people talking about your business and that the word of mouth they pass on is as positive as it can possibly be.
With that in mind, here are some mostly simple things you can do to generate a buzz, get people talking and bring in more of that much-valued word-of-mouth business:
Build Trust in Your Business
Building trust in your business is one of the important things you can do because the success (or not) of your company will, to a large extent, depend on your reputation. I mean, who would you buy from, the company who have a reputation for selling products that fall apart after three months or the one that builds their products to last and had the customer endorsements to prove it? All over things being equal., you’re always going to go for the latter right? So, although it may take a while for you to build trust with customers and for their word-of-mouth to reach others’ ears and start having an impact, it is probably the best thing you can do for yourself.
Always Do Your Best
This one is very much related to building trust in your busienss, but it is definitely worth mentioning that you should always do the very best you can if you want word of mouth to work for you. Not only does that mean creating high-quality goods and services, but it also means offering an extremely high level of customer service and going above and beyond when you can. If you can exceed expectations, then your customers will be blown away and they will be more than happy to recommend you to friends, family members and people on the internet.
Sometimes, getting people to talk about your busienss can be as simple as asking them for their thoughts and opinions. You can do this by sending them a polite email, including a link with their order or even by offering them money off their next purchase if they’re willing to share a review. Then, you can use their feedback to attract more customers and more feedback, which should hopefully help to keep the conversation going.
It’s worth mentioning at this point, that you should never be tempted to fake reviews or pay customers to give you positive reviews because, not only is this practice unethical, but it is very likely that you will be caught out and that will mean that you do get talked about but for entirely the wrong reasons!
Give Something Back
There’s nothing like helping out a good cause to do something positive for the world, feel good about yourself and get people talking, So, whether you donate some of your products to the local school, hold a bake sale to raise money for an animal shelter or do something like the no birds bash to raise money for sick children, being a conpany who cares about other people and who puts charitable goals on a par with business will certainly not do you any harm, and the more daring, excisitkng or newsworthy your chairtable efforts are, the better it will be for your PR. So, think of a cause you care about, which your target audience can also get behind, and do something good with the resources you have.
Engage High Profile Customers
This isn’t always possible, but if you can find a celebrity who has used your products and services in the pasty, and if they were happy with the service you provided them with, getting in touch and asking them if they would be willing to give you a brief endorsement would certainly be worth your while. Yes, you may have to pay for the privilege and depending on how famous they may be, this could be quite expensive, but there’s no denying that it can be more effective than most other things. Just look at how much sway the Kardashians have, even shaving millions off the value of Snapchat, and you’ll see how much celebrity opinions can matter, Maybe they shouldn’t, but they do and you would be foolish not to capitalise on them if you have the opportunity to do so.
Build Authentic Relationships
You might think that making a sale is the ultimate aim of being in business, and of course, no business would be in business for long without sales, but that sale is not the be all and end all, or at least it shouldn’t be! You see, it is far cheaper to retain customers than it is to win new ones and it is far cheaper to secure new customers with word-of-mouth than it is via other methods. So, once you’ve made that sale. Ensure that your aftercare is on point, thank the customer, maintain a relationship with them by encouraging them to receive emails and continue to offer incentives for them to come back and to refer others using money off vouchers, codes, and freebies.
Be Attentive on Social Media
Social media is a great way to get attention and prove your company’s worth online, but in order to do that, you need to be very active, posting regularly. More importantly, when people engage with you on there, you need to be attentive, responding to their queries, praise, and criticisms quickly, in a friendly manner, and as helpfully as possible. If you can do this, then whether their initial experience was good, neutral or bad, you’ll stand a far better chance of winning them over and getting them to recommend you to others – after all, on social media, all it takes is one click.
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Vinh Van Lam & Stuart Horrex
Your Creative Coaches @ CoSydney & ArtSHINE industries