By Sara Lavenduski | asicentral.com
Word-of-mouth marketing is critical for a business – it’s not only free advertising, but it’s also among the most trusted recommendations that a happy client can make. Data shows that prospects trust product and service endorsements from people they know, more than they trust and respect any other type of marketing.
According to web hosting company GoDaddy, 64% of business owners say word-of-mouth referrals are their top source of new customers. Why? People trust authentic feedback about a company more than that firm’s outbound marketing efforts, like digital ads, email promotions and flyers.
Here’s how to establish a word-of-mouth marketing program at your company.
1. Offer standout customer service. Make sure accounts are serviced at a high level from the very first steps, from the initial brainstorming, through the order process to final delivery and fulfillment. Encouraging happy customers to talk you up through word of mouth will be easier if they’re pleased with the service they’ve received.
2. Request a review. Ask satisfied clients for a testimonial on the service they received, and ask permission to include it on your website. Prospects who see them will be further encouraged to pursue a sale with you. Also ask customers to provide Google reviews and ratings on your Facebook page for additional social proof.
3. Provide hashtags. Advise clients to use a clever custom hashtag that refers back to your company. When their products arrive, they can take a photo, post on social media and refer to your company’s work. This also gives you an opportunity to track your footprint on social and find out who your satisfied customers are so you can continue to target them for future sales opportunities.
64% – the percentage of business owners who say word-of-mouth referrals are their top source of new customers.
4. Surprise them. After a successful project, send thoughtful gifts for customers’ birthdays, work anniversaries and even for their pets. They’ll appreciate receiving useful, fun items that delight, and they’ll be flattered you thought of them. Plus, they may just take to social media to say how much they appreciate your company, your work and your kindness.
5. Offer a giveback component. Look into partnering with a local or national charitable organization that’s special to you, and donate a percentage of proceeds from promo sales to benefit it. Clients will be happy to talk about your customer service and products, along with the cause to which you’re committing time and energy.
6. Create a sense of community. Send a self-promo that identifies clients as part of your “tribe.” It could be a T-shirt, tote bag or drinkware with your logo, or even colorful stickers that are perfect for water bottles, notebooks and laptops. Satisfied customers will be happy to talk about their experience with you and recommend your services to those who ask.