Word of mouth is one of first forms of marketing ever invented and still to this day remains one of the most powerful ways for small businesses to connect with prospective customers. Having your positive reputation passed on through word of mouth can lead to a long term, trusting relationship with a new client. At Freshpath, we’re here to help.
The ‘grapevine’ is really important for local businesses’ growth. You can boost your word of mouth and consequently your business through these three easy steps:
Whilst word of mouth is as old as the hills, the internet is new and people now use this as a way to spread word of mouth. It is a good idea to check what your customers are saying about you on Google and Bing monthly.
1. Regularly monitor your business’ reputation on Google and Bing
Statistics show that most consumers will research a small business before deciding whether to buy their product or service. If you have a good online reputation, they will be more likely to choose you over a competitor.
2. Customer Surveys
Conduct a regular customer survey or have a system in place to learn what your customers REALLY think and promote this online through reviews and case studies – after all, reviews are the first place customers look when choosing a business to use ( leave – ive written)
3. Make it really easy for your customers to share word of mouth.
Having happy customers is one thing, but getting them to share their opinions with their family, friends and the internet is another. So how do you get satisfied customers to spread the love? Here are few techniques we’ve put together that will encourage customers to spread word of mouth:
- Provide customers with the incentive to ‘Refer a Friend’.
If you have an email list for your clients, you can put a link in your newsletter where customers can go to ‘refer a friend’. To encourage people to do this, you may choose to provide discount codes or small freebies to those who get friends to buy something.
- Don’t be afraid to ask customers to refer you.
Chasing customers for reviews can feel like a drag but it doesn’t need to be. Most satisfied customers will be happy to refer you but will likely forget quite quickly as life gets in the way. A follow up email or phone call thanking them for their service and asking them for a referral will only remind them of their positive experience and encourage them to pass it on.
- Have business cards on hand
A great way to get people to share your details with their friends is to provide them with business cards they can share out. A professional card can help to jog someone’s memory.
- Offer simple ways that customers can leave a good reference
Customers are more likely to leave a review if you can provide them with an easy way of doing it. Preferably on their phone so they can do it on the go. Encouraging people to leave a testimonial on your Facebook page could be a good idea if you are a customer facing business. If you provide a service such as a restaurant or hotel, encouraging customers to leave you a good star review on Yelp can make your business stand out.
Keeping in touch with former customers and getting them to spread good reviews about your business is a great way to maintain relationships. It will ensure that next time the customer or one of their friends needs the product or service you provide, they will come to you first.