“Word-of-mouth” marketing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways of drawing customers to your business and helping it grow. Social media has made it even easier for people to share their experiences, thoughts, and reviews with tens to hundreds to thousands of friends. It’s also a great way to gauge how you’re doing as a business. Are your customers talking about you and referring others to you?
If you’re not sure, one easy way to learn is to calculate your Net Promoter Score®. All it requires is asking one simple question to your current customers: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to refer someone to (insert your business name here)?” Calculate your results, and you’ll know soon enough. The lower your score, the more you need to work at improving your customer experience.
Here are some suggestions to help improve your score and more importantly help encourage customers to talk about you:
• Build relationships with your customers. It’s not enough to be able to provide your customer with a product or service. You also want to develop a level of trust with them, so they overcome any buyer’s skepticism. Ask them questions, get to know them, and offer solutions -- even if those solutions are something you can’t provide. When they see you care about their needs, they're more likely to continue to turn to you and brag about you to others.
• Be intentional in everything you do. Ask your loyal customers to refer you. Most of us are quick to post negative reviews, but we rarely act when it’s a positive experience unless prompted. Referrals matter because we all prefer to buy from people we know, like, and trust.
• Create a “wow” moment for your customers. You've probably heard it said that people will forget what you said but not how you made them feel. That's something you can take to heart as a business. Chances are your company is not unique in what it sells or offers. What will make you unique, however, is how you engage customers, execute solutions, and resolve problems. By being attentive, acting with speed and excellence, and taking the responsibility to solve problems in a positive manner, you will distinguish yourself from your competitors and expand your business’s reach exponentially.
All of these efforts require time and mental energy. If done right, this type of marketing will benefit you much more than any paid advertising you’re currently doing.