Word of mouth marketing is incredibly powerful as consumers tend to trust positive reviews and referrals over traditional company-made marketing materials. It makes sense, after all, as customers typically don’t have anything to gain from sharing their experiences. Taking steps to encourage your customers to spread the word is a great way to increase sales and boost your company’s bottom line.
Request Customer Feedback
Featuring legitimate customer reviews and testimonials on your website and social media pages is a wonderful way to attract new customers. Sometimes, the best way to get feedback is simply to ask. After your product has been received, you can send a followup email to make sure they’re satisfied with their purchase, then politely request that they leave a review. If you run a brick-and-mortar store, you can include a little card with the receipt that requests feedback. If you’re struggling to get testimonials, you may want to entice customers by offering a coupon in exchange for their time.
Offer Incentives for Referrals
Referrals are the most effective form of word of mouth marketing. When one of your customers recommends your product or service to a friend or family member, you have a much stronger chance of them actually converting. In order to encourage your customers to refer their friends and family, you can offer discounts or freebies. For example, you could offer 30% off per referral. You may want to crunch some numbers to find an appropriate figure that keeps the transaction profitable while still being enticing to your customers.
While the budget may not always allow you to offer huge discounts, having the occasional sale can attract new faces and get people talking. You can have a time-sensitive sale to really entice people to stop by and spread the news quickly. Another great way to gain interest is to match competitors’ prices. Again, this may not always fit within the budget, but you can compromise by price-matching just popular or hard-to-find items. You don’t necessarily need to have a store blowout to generate a buzz — just keep things interesting. People like to feel like they’re getting a deal, even if it’s a small one.
Go Above and Beyond
Outstanding customer service gets remembered. Even little things like checking in the back for a product that’s not on the shelf show your customers that you genuinely value them. In fact, just a smile and some small talk can create a memorable experience that keeps customers coming back. Beyond customer service, you may also want to consider the overall shopping experience. Is your point of sale easily accessible? Do you have multiple point of sale stations so they don’t have to wait in line? If your business is online, is your website organized and easy to read?
Little details add up, and your goal should be to make every customer’s experience as positive as possible. A month or two down the line, they may not remember specifically why they have a fond memory of your store, but the impression remains. By providing excellent customer service, you’ve gained a brand ambassador who would speak positively about your business. There’s no single formula to encourage word of mouth advertising. It’s all about paying attention to the small things to create an overall welcoming environment. That’s what gets people talking and makes more sales for you.