The big challenge with "Word of Mouth" marketing is you cant easily 'turn this on', as you are relying on other people to do this for you.
Below are some great tried and true ways to encourage people to increase 'word of mouth' marketing. You need to be extra-focused on these when you are building and executing a campaign to increase sales.
We’ve compiled a list of effective strategies that you can go through (courtesy of George Silverman from his amazing book The Secrets of Word of Mouth Marketing) that are proven to work:
Here they are:
- Give existing customers something worth talking about
- Cater to your initial customers shamelessly
- Give them incentives to engage in word of mouth
- Ask them to tell their friends
- The customer is always right
- Always tell the truth
- Surprise the customers by giving them a little more than they expected
- Give them a reason to buy, make them come back and refuse service from anyone else other than you
- Make eye contact, and smile, even through the telephone
- Find ways to make doing business with you a little better: a warmer greeting, a cleaner floor, nicer lighting, a better shopping bag, extra matches, faster service, free delivery, lower prices, more selection.
- Never be annoyed when a customer asks you to change a large bill even if he doesn't buy anything.
- The customer is your reason for being. Never take her/him for granted. If you do, she/he will never come back, and will go straight to your competition.
- Always dust off items, but never let the customer see you doing it.
- Never embarrass a customer, especially by making them feel ignorant.
- Never answer a question coming from a desire to show how smart you are. Answer with a desire to help the customer make the best decision.
- Never shout across the store, "How much are these condoms?" or anything about the personal items a customer is buying.
- When you don't know, say so. Do whatever you can to find out the answer.
- Every customer is special. Try to remember their names.
- Don't allow known shoplifters into the store.
- Don't ever let two sales staff talk when a customer is waiting. The worst thing you can do is count your cash while a customer is waiting.
- If you can suggest something better, they will be grateful. Always respect their choice.
- Never pressure anyone into buying anything.
- Never knowingly give bad advice. Just help people come to the right decision.
- Personally visit the store of the competition or assign people to visit and report back to you.
- Hire a mystery shopping service to prepare periodic reports on how your people are treating your customers.
- If you hear of a store where the management is insulting the customers, buy it, then put up the sign "Under New Management" outside. You can easily sell it later based on the increased sales.
- One customer who is convinced you are better brings hundreds of new customers and their friends through word of mouth.
- Always look for ways to make a stranger a customer.
- People will walk several blocks to save a dollar, or see a smile, or be treated right.
- Always run a sale promotion or an offbeat event. Make them come back to see what you are cooking up next.
- Use the best sign-maker you can find and pay him more than anybody else.
- If someone is mad at you, they will tell everyone who will listen for as long as they are angry, maybe even longer. So correct any dissatisfaction, and ask customers to send their friends.
- Treat your employees and salespeople who sell to you the same way you treat your customers.
- Have a zero error system. There may be terrible consequences for example, if a mistake is made filling a prescription. Have people check each other's work for safety.
- Occasionally make intentional mistakes to see if people are checking.
- Always measure your performance.
- Always ask a customer to "come back soon"
- If customers say they are moving away, offer to send them their favorite items by mail.
- Tell jokes.
I know this is a lot of information to digest, so I‘m going to wrap this up and leave you with some homework. Go through the list and implement the 6 tips and tricks you like best. Select tips that fit your company, products, services and your target customer, for the most effectiveness.
If you need help with this process, please contact us.