How many times have you said or heard, “Don’t go there, their customer service is terrible.” Or how about, “I love them! You have to try them out.” Word of mouth can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Which, as a company, it should be your best friend since people are more likely to go to or use a company if someone recommends it to them. So, how do you embrace word of mouth without it becoming your downfall? Here are four basic steps to get you started.
Word of Mouth
1. Find a baseline. Find out how people really feel about you. You should already have a pulse on this, but you never know what’s out there unless you’ve been looking. If you’re not checking all the time, that should be a red flag. Check out online reviews, see what your customers are saying, and find out what makes people happy and unhappy.
2. What can you improve? Are people saying that your sales people are impersonal or that your lead time is too long? How about if your monthly deals or social media posts are a joke? Find out what you can fix and work hard to do so. If people are leaving bad comments online, then you should reply in a courteous, proactive, and positive manner. If you see some weak spots in your company that could be transformed into opportunities that could really help customers, then do it. Find ways to make that customer experience better.
3. Go above and beyond. Once you start fixing what’s bad, start boosting what’s good. Do people love your company culture? Share and interact online by showing off that culture. Do people love your Christmas baskets? How about sending a new client a welcome basket? Find ways to show that you care. It’s about delighting the customer.
4. Encourage interaction. If you’re doing something right, people talk about it. On the negative side, if you’re doing something wrong, people talk about that too. Make sure you have fixed the major problems before asking someone to talk about you from the rooftops. If people are bragging about and recommending you – congratulations! Now, harness that. Build up a good referral program that makes people want to use it. Delight your brand ambassadors with perks and special shout outs. Make them feel even better about your brand. Definitely interact, especially online. Tweet people back, follow them, repin their pins, message them back, and there are many more opportunities. It’s a continuous cycle of love if you play your cards right.
So, I hear all the time, “Did you hear what Bobby McGee said about XYZ?” I have now and I’ve formed an opinion about that brand because of what Bobby said. Make sure that my opinion is good. Create a positive word of mouth. Want a partner throughout this process? Contact us and we’ll gladly help. Either way, good luck!