The power of the referral: how word of mouth can boost your business
Learn how to encourage customer recommendations and watch your business grow
If you have a small business, the chances are your marketing budget is on the modest side too. The good news: some types of marketing won’t cost you a penny!
Word of mouth marketing — defined as “an unpaid form of promotion in which satisfied customers tell other people how much they like a business, product or service” — is a powerful tool that you should be taking advantage of.
84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services – making these recommendations the highest ranked source for trustworthiness. And it’s not just consumer-facing businesses that can benefit: in fact, 91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word of mouth when making their buying decision.
Now you’ve seen how powerful word of mouth marketing is, let’s explore how you can go about generating it for your business.
How can I generate word of mouth advertising for my business?
If a customer visits you and receives great service the first time but then lackluster service the next, they’ll be hesitant to recommend you to others. Instead, make sure every customer receives the same excellent level of customer service, every time they visit you. For more on the dangers of bad customer service, read our previous blog.
What do you have that sets you apart from the competition? Maybe your cafe is in a beautiful building, maybe you make the best desserts for miles around, or maybe you give a portion of your proceeds to charity.
Identify what makes you different and interesting, then showcase it on your website and social media. Chances are, your customers will find it interesting too, and it’ll make them more likely to tell their friends about you.
Say thank you
Customers love to feel appreciated! Whether it’s a simple ‘thank you’ email, or an exclusive coupon code to reward loyalty, you should make your customers feel valued as an integral part of your customer experience.
Create positive publicity
How do you get involved with your local community? Maybe you regularly donate money, or maybe you help with local fundraising events. Don’t forget to take a picture whenever you’re doing something to give back to the community. You can share the photos, along with information about the cause, on social media and in your email newsletters.
Don’t worry about blowing your own trumpet — customers love to see businesses making valuable contributions to the local community, especially if the cause is something they’re passionate about, too.
Be active on social media
Social media is more than just a place to share great product photos and funny GIFs — you can also use it to really engage with your customers. Make your business memorable: ask questions, share polls and start meaningful conversations with potential and existing customers.
Social media can also make it easier for customers to refer business to you. How many times you’ve seen people asking for recommendations on Facebook? If you have a social media presence, they can tag you and you can become part of the conversation and engage with potential customers.
Ask for testimonials
And once you receive them, showcase them proudly on your website and social media. When people see others singing your praises, they’ll be more likely to chime in too.
Show your expertise
Are you an expert in your industry? Think about giving free seminars and writing guest blogs to establish yourself as an authority. This shows you’re generous, and prepared to do something that benefits potential customers without asking for anything in return.
Now you’ve laid the groundwork to encourage word of mouth, you can watch the referrals roll in. By keeping your service standards high, you’ll also increase retention rates and help to keep your business prosperous for years to come. If you want to take things to the next level, you could consider implementing a referral scheme that rewards customers who refer others, just like we have at Voxtell.
Are you a happy Voxtell customer? Refer us to a friend and you can earn up to $1,000 when they sign up! It’s easy – fill out our quick form to get started.
Did you find this article useful? Visit the rest of our blog for more business insights and industry news from the technical experts at Voxtell. Read the latest from the blog here.