New business owners will often tell us that “word of mouth” is going to be a big part (sometimes the main focus) of their marketing . We all know how powerful a happy customer can be and the impact it can have on a business. But … the majority of people are not necessarily vocal about their satisfaction with a business or service until asked. Conversely, we are more apt to be vocal when we are dissatisfied. So if you are sitting back and waiting for great word of mouth to happen, you might be disappointed.
Any kind of marketing, including “word of mouth” takes effort. And yes, there are things you can do to help it happen!
#1 Use Your Business Cards Wisely
A very wise and savvy mentor that I know always tells her mentees to give customers 3 of their business cards and to tell them “one to keep and 2 to give away”. Make it easy for your customers and clients to make referrals to you. If they have a couple of business cards they will give them away to people and they will be happy to help out their friends and colleagues.
Remember, a whole stack of business cards will do you no good sitting in your desk drawer, and they are very affordable.
#2 Support Your Own Clients
Do you have a client or customer who also owns a small business? Do you have other clients who could benefit from their product or service? Make that referral, promote their service. It will come back to you as they will refer people to your business. Mutual referrals will grow and benefit you both!
Sometimes, all it takes is a request. Ask some of your clients and customers if they would consider providing you with a testimonial that you can use on your website or in-store. Choose wisely – ask individuals who are established in the community and are well-known so that it carries some weight.
#4 Give Them Something To Talk About
It takes an exceptionally happy customer to initiate positive word of mouth for your business. You have to consistently provide excellent customer service, get to know them and make them feel appreciated, ask for and accept their feedback on products, etc. and then do something with that feedback. When they feel special and appreciated they will talk about your business in a positive light.
When you put some thought into it, most business owners are able to come up with ideas that will appeal to the emotions of their customers. Make them feel important, special, appreciated, safe, understood and provide them with positive experiences on a consistent basis. Being proactive will result in positive word of mouth – don’t sit back and wait for it, make it happen!