Word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing tool of all times. It was recognized in 1950’s, when Bill Bernbach noticed, that “word of mouth is the best medium of all.” The statement still true and valid, even after 60 years.
Although the world of business changes rapidly, with new technologies and innovations appearing every day, word-of-mouth has not ceased to be one the most powerful and important ways of promoting your business and gaining (or losing) new clients. The first rule to have in mind when working on your WOM is that you shouldn’t start campaigning, if you don’t have fully developed customer service. You need to create a unique experience that your satisfied clients would simply love to talk about. Having established that, we can get into details on how to improve positive word-of-mouth about your business. Below you can find our selection of the most effective strategies.
Give something for free
Everybody likes to receive a goodie bag or a selection of freebies once in a while. They all show you are willing to go the extra mile to satisfy your customers, without being too pushy. Remember however, that nobody likes to get some poor quality mugs or lanyards and be to told to appreciate them. If you really wish to improve your WOM you have to put some effort into getting to know your most loyal clients and actually provide them with some great quality freebies. If your company deals with computer applications, why not give early, free, even time-limited access to your newest product to a group of your most devoted customers? You will not only promote your product, but by doing so you business will receive great WOM. To give even more personal attention, you can organize exclusive events showcasing your newest products or technologies. Invite your most devoted clients to show appreciation for their loyalty. Get to know your fans and figure out what kinds of events or promotions will make them especially happy – it can be anything from social media contests to structured loyalty programmes.
Get involved in the community
One of the biggest struggles that companies face is lack of recognition. To boost your chances of being noticed, and afterwards encourage your clients and business partners to get more vocal about your activities, you can establish a network of professional bonds with recognized and trustworthy non-profit organizations. You will devote your time, money, products or services, and, above all, your expertise for the greater good, which will surely get you more fans and followers, as people tend to value selfless entrepreneurs. Obviously, we shouldn’t immediately become a non-profit company ourselves, but helping the community even a little bit will greatly influence the recognition of our company. In addition, to stimulate your businesses’ word-of-mouth marketing traffic you can also establish partnerships with other companies willing to promote your website and refer to your services.
Have strong social media presence
Hundreds of recommendations are carried out via Facebook and Twitter every day, yet there are still many ‘entrepreneurs’ who shun those social media in favor of more typical marketing campaigns. Trust me when I say you want to be an active part of those two communities. Having a well organized personal page on social media will deepen your relations with customers and show you as a responsible, trustworthy and modern entrepreneur. Just make sure your content is top quality and easy to share and you won’t have to wait long to see the results.
Fix issues with dissatisfied clients
Ah, dissatisfied clients: we’ve all had them, we would all want to forget about them. However, a dissatisfied client should be treated as an opportunity, not a burden. By gracefully handling complaints, you have a competitive advantage to turn mediocre customer experience into loyal cooperation. Once dissatisfied client, whose issues were solved in more than satisfactory way, will be happy to spread the word about your business ethics.
Ask for it
The simplest and, at the same time, the most effective way to improve WOM about your company is to ask your clients for referrals. Let’s be honest – have you ever done? It is the most discreet and unobtrusive way to get people talking about you, so don’t hesitate to try it. Many customers will be happy to send you referrals straightforwardly, but some of them just need a little reminder.
It is a well-established fact that people are more likely to choose a business they were referred to. Word-of-mouth is earned, and it takes effort and time to build sufficient strategy for your business. Just remember that when you achieve a positive WOM, nurture and develop it for even greater benefits.
Author: Monique Rivers is an Australian tech blogger who also loves good food and fashion. She works at ninefold.com. Ninefold is a company providing efficient and powerful virtual servers for all those occasions when a business needs to move their ideas into the cloud.
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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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By Al Shultz 21 Jul 2015
Word-of-mouth is what happens AFTER you’ve done a very good job of getting the word out to the market, usually by some form of traditional advertising, be that mass advertising for consumer or trade journals for B2B, where I work. Very seldom does it just take off spontaneously — it usually happens after YOU’VE lit the bonfire and everyone sees it and starts talking about it.
To think that all you need is a better mousetrap, and that ten satisfied customers will immediately light up the Internet and bring you another million customers is naive to say the least.
Al Shultz http://www.alshultz.com/
By Jeff Lovejoy 21 Jul 2015
Enjoyed reading. I find that many business owners are hesitant to ask for referrals, thinking that it’s too salesy. According to their thinking, customers will naturally refer business to them without promptly. I don’t believe this to be true but am interested in your thoughts.
By Debbie Clark 21 Jul 2015
Hi Will, I think word-of-mouth is the best advertisement for businesses. When customers/clients share a good experience with their family and friends, the business can benefit from a broader scope of friends and so on. Customer/client loyalty depends on continuous, quality products and service.