One great free way to extend the reach of your business is via word of mouth. But how does a business go about encouraging their current customers to share their experience and make a recommendation to a friend or colleague?
And why is it so important? It’s a well-quoted statistic, most recently from Neilsen that around 90% of customers trust recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.
We’ve put together the top tips for businesses looking to increase their word of mouth recommendations:
- Make it easy for them. Your website, subscription emails, vouchers, follow up communications and delivery should all be shareable on social media and via other methods too. Help your customer to help you.
- Be sure to think of creative ways to start a conversation. Think of something that is valuable to your client, something they want to talk about. If you’re product or service delivery is not something that people can easily talk about then they won’t want to share it – simple.
- Ask for the referrals. Ensure that all your customer touchpoints feature a request for a referral or recommendation in some form. Jog their memory.
- Provide images and wording for them to use. Whilst it’s great when your customers say nice things about your business, they don’t always know what to say or what imagery to use. Providing images on your website or emails as well as shareable wording will help to make the process even easier for your advocates.
- Use testimonials. When your customers send in positive testimonials, use them! Your website, emails, marketing material and social media are all great examples of how to show your customers that you value their feedback.
- Incentivise word of mouth and referral behaviour. Depending on the industry you operate in, you may have the ability to incentivize referrals to increase their frequency. Be sure to check the legal requirements of this type of reward before embarking on a course of action.
- Make it easy for potential customers to contact you. And be sure to get back to them promptly. When a potential new customer has contacted you on a friend or colleague’s recommendation, you want to make a great first impression so make sure your lead generation and funnelling processes are up to scratch.
Those are just a few of the many tips available online for businesses looking for word of mouth recommendations. Remember, a customer will only recommend you if your service has been top notch and you give them something to talk about.