word-of-mouth marketing

To generate positive word-of-mouth, you've got to stand out from the crowd. Photo credit: Whisper Rock Photography

There is no question that when it comes to marketing your small business, there is no strategy that is more cost-effective than positive word-of-mouth marketing.  One of the biggest challenges any business owner has in building their customer base is creating trusted relationships with prospects in order to turn them into customers.  When a satisfied customer tells their friends and family about their experiences with a specific business, it creates a shortcut in that trust building process.   This is the key to effective word-of-mouth marketing, creating customer experiences that translate into sharable stories.

 

Here are 7  great ways to get people talking about your business.

 

1.       Do What You Do Better than Anyone Else

The fastest way to get people talking about your business is to be amazing, to be better at what you do than anyone else in your market.  It’s all about getting results.   Don’t compromise on quality; it’s what makes you stand apart.

 

2.       Make it Memorable

Just because everyone else is doing something one way doesn’t mean you have to do it the same way.  Southwest Airlines demonstrates this by encouraging their employees to have fun on the job by singing, or telling jokes. Make each customer’s experience memorable and increase the likelihood they will tell others about it.

 

3.       Be Consistent

Once you’ve delivered a quality product or service that customers love, it’s important to keep delivering it consistently time after time, after time. Nothing is more disappointing to a customer than to go back to a business and get an experience or product that doesn’t measure up to their first experience.  Consistency is key to people coming back again and again and again and bringing their friends.

 

4.       Invite the Influencers

The best people to spread the word about your business are the people who spread the word about everything.  These are called influencers.  Fairy Tale Brownies employed this strategy by sending samples of their brownies to the media and to corporate officers. Mrs. Fields Cookies did this by giving free samples to people walking by their stores who then told others.

 

5.       Make it Easy for People to Share Their Great Experience

If you want people to share their story about your business, you need to make it really easy for them to do it.  Make sure you have a place for people to submit testimonials on your website, or on social media sites.  Invite customer feedback with a form attached to their receipt or check. To encourage submissions have a monthly drawing or other incentive.

 

6.       Give Incredible Service

It’s sad that we have to mention this, but unfortunately customer service is one of the biggest reasons that a customer will buy from you again, or not. Make customer service your top priority and ensure that every customer that comes in your shop or visits your page feels important and valued.  Great customer service is so rare that when it happens you are likely to gain a long-term customer and guarantee they will tell others about how great you are.

 

7.       Be Thankful

Make sure you are appreciative of those people who speak up about your business and give you great recommendations and referrals.  Thank you notes go a long way, thank you notes with a coupon or freebie, go farther.

 

These are just a few ideas on how to generate word-of-mouth marketing.  Would love to hear from you, what are yours?