Have you ever been about to purchase something from a company when you looked up the reviews for them? What happened? Well, if the reviews were good, you probably went ahead with the purchase or at least felt more confident in your selection.
But … what about those not so great reviews.. you know, the ones that show up next to a product that looks great until you see the 2.5 star rating. Yeah, that will put a freeze on your buying finger.
Word of Mouth Business turns to World of Mouth Business in the online world and both are more important than ever in our online-oriented society. Online reviews are available for everything from doctors to dog walkers, and according to a study by BrightLocal.
And, nearly 9 in 10 consumers read online reviews of local businesses, and 72 percent of consumers said that they used positive reviews to determine whether a business was trustworthy. Think about this from your own perspective.. when you go to buy, book, sign-up, stay or dine what do you look for before the purchase? The reputation of course.
Word of Mouth Business has always been the best generator of leads since the earliest days of sales- the 'I know a guy/gal who is great at _____" is the ever coveted best marketing your business can have! Collecting and sharing reviews of your brand is just one piece of the puzzle, though. There are a couple ways you can encourage people to become passionate about your business and sharing that passion to the world.
But how do you get the word-spreading action started? Here are just a few of my tips on enhancing word of mouth business:
Be “your” brand
Make your brand your product. The thing people are really buying in-to. There is no shame in being “your” brand no matter how odd, quirky, nerdy, polished, whatever that makes you, you! Being your brand mean- stand for something, have personality, have a style about you. The brand who people are super passionate about and will support you pretty much no matter what. A great example of this is Nike. Yes, they are controversial right now. But, look at their fan base. These people are dedicated to the brand, nothing will stop that. And, by Nike’s stand, they have won over lots of other people. And, TBH, they probably don’t care much that they alienated the people who disagreed with them. Because they know living up to their values is worth more.
When you create a brand based on your values, values that people can stand behind, you will be able to build more authentic relationships with your audience. After all, 88 percent of consumers want to build a relationship with a brand before purchasing from them.
Now, you need to make sure it’s clear to everyone on your internal team who and what you stand for. They will need to align as well. Altogether, you can live the brand internally and externally as a team.
Be the leader of the pack
Focus on being the best at what you do! Everything that you do should be transparent and frictionless for your customer. Meaning, think of the process of working/buying/ interacting with your brand from your client's perspective. What would make your process the easiest for them to do business with you? What would make things go smooth and take work/stress off of them? Whether you are a strictly online store or you have an in-person experience, every contact the potential customer has with you needs to stand out as positive and worthy of their time and energy. For example, I recently went to purchase anti bluelight glasses online and the website I went to allowed me not only to purchase the glasses from start to finish online while adding in a prescription if needed...they let me select my style and virtually try the glasses on so I knew which I liked. I'm sure that enhancement to their website wasn't cheap.. but it was a "wow- omg this is awesome" moment for me.. and I am now a customer for life. #Customer4Life
In every way you can, offer a VIP experience to the audience. Like- offering an exclusive group just for your clients on Facebook where you share trainings and helpful tips. Anyway you can make it special, take the time to do it. Since our goal is to encourage your customers to refer their friends and family to your company, it is important to create relationship building events designed entice them to do so. These events should have such a profound impact on your customer, they WANT to share their experience with others.Don’t be a follower; know your audience and understand what will be meaningful for them.
When an experience really stands out as unique and special, people are so much more likely to share it with their friends and family.
There’s no harm in encouraging people to spread the word about your business! Ask customers and clients to take surveys that can help you understand how your team is doing and to improve processes.
Encourage referrals by rewarding people who help you make sales. Gift cards and certificates are great ways to thank people for mentioning your name. An example of this- I recently referred a friend online to choose a contractor that worked on my home. The business sent me a thank you card and a $200 Visa Gift Card. UH-yeah, I may remember to send them a few more leads.
It’s also important to have an easy process for collecting reviews right on your website. Have a testimonial and review page where people can read what other people have to say about your business and then collect more by linking to on Facebook, Google, Yelp, and other review sites.
You can also share testimonials on social media. If you can swing it, invest in some video testimonials. Then, ask for reviews on your social pages if and when you've earned it. (Please do not be the person who asks for a review/testimonial before they've done anything to earn it..unless it's your mom) One way this can work is if someone gives you a complement on your work with them. Thank them and then ask if they'd be willing to share the same statement online.
Be known in your space
People are going to remember how you made them feel, not what you said. So, how can you add value? Be known as the person who goes above and beyond for your customers and clients. You know them best. What will be meaningful and valuable to them?
It also helps to have real people doing real things. You can use your team to start conversations on social media and build the relationships that will help you be known by the people in your space.
Be the connector
"Be known as a connector" is one statement I live by! It's all about helping others! Whenever you can, be the one to provide introductions to likeminded people and or referrals. Show people how reviews and connections are spread throughout the online world. For example, f you know a company that’s a good match for somebody, tag them in the company’s post. Tell them why it’s a good match! I do this a lot and often get back 3x what I put into it. That's the law of attraction in action right there!
Reviews are so important today. They’re easy for people to find, read, and make a decision based on what’s said. So make sure you take advantage of them. It can mean a lot to your business, even be the only deciding factor people use.
Do you collect reviews? How to use them to grow your world of mouth business? Let us know!
Check out our Magnet Marketer's episode chatting all about Word of Mouth referrals!