In the 1950’s Bill Bernbach, founder of DDB Worldwide, said: “Word of mouth is the best medium of all.” Today, Word of Mouth is still the best medium for small businesses.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) found that 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising.
As a consumer, you know that Word of Mouth is effective because you experience it in your everyday life. For example, when looking to renovate your home, you will probably ask family members, friends or colleagues for recommendations before “googling” for a painter, plumber, etc. And, you’ll probably choose a business that you were referred to.
As a small business owner, you can influence what your customers say about your business by giving them something positive to talk about and share with others.
Here are 10 ways to generate positive word of mouth:
1| Exceed your customers’ expectations and be remarkable.
Related post:How to Deliver Great Customer Service
2| Share your story. Tell your customers why you open your business and how what you do can improve their life.
3| A small business owner is in the unique position of giving customers personal attention. It is reassuring for new clients to know that the owner of a company is going to take care of them.
4| Have customers-only events to introduce a new product, a new location or just to thank them for their loyalty.
5| Give your customers insider knowledge about your business, employees, products and services.
6| Give back and get involved in your community.
- Participate in community events,
- join the local chamber, or
- donate time, money and/or venue to local non-for-profit groups.
7| Happy employees make great ambassadors for your business. So, keep your staff in the loop and give them interesting stories that they can share with your customers/clients.
8| Leverage the power of social media. Sharing content with your followers online can be powerful. Keep your fans going with helpful information that they will be happy to share with their online community.
Related Post: How to Increase Social Media Engagement
9| Display customers’ testimonials online (website, social media) and on your printed marketing collaterals.
10| Ask your customers to spread the word about your business.
Word of Mouth can happen anytime and anywhere, online and offline.
And it’s still the most cost-effective marketing tool for a small business to attract new customers and increase sales. Word of Mouth is earned, not created.
Building sufficient word of mouth to sustain your business will not happen overnight; it takes time, energy, and effort.
A good place to start is to create a customer experience that is so unique and so remarkable that your customers will feel that they have to talk about it.