We love to chat, tell others our news and what we have discovered. It is part of human nature to want to communicate. It gives us social currency and makes us look like we are smart and in the know. For many years communication was just face to face or by messenger on foot or on horseback. Now we have almost too many forms of communication to mention. We can send our thoughts to people all over the world, almost immediately. Sometimes maybe too quickly.
Master Word Of Mouth
The most trusted recommendation for customers is word of mouth from friends or family. It is something that cannot be bought, so whether you are a huge multinational company or a micro business, when it comes to word of mouth, all businesses are equal. Surprisingly only 6% of businesses feel they have mastered word of mouth.
Get Recommendations From Adopters.
Research has shown that 92% of customers trust recommendations from people they know, this goes down to 70% from anonymous reviewers. With a recommendation from trusted friend or relative the risk element of trying something new and unknown has been taken away. If we look at the UK population only 13.5% of the population are adopters who are happy to try something quite new before the majority of the population, with 34% being the early majority and 34% being the late majority. Which shows not many of the population want to try something early, on when they cannot be sure of how their purchase will work. So, the earlier you can get recommendations from the adopters, the sooner you will get the early majority on board.
Make Sure You Delight Them!
The difficulty with word of mouth is you do not just need to satisfy customers, you need to delight them consistently and your message needs to be strong. If you are not consistent with your service or product, you will create disappointment and uncertainty and no one likes to be unsure of what they are getting for their money. If you go out for a meal and have a fabulous meal the first time, you will go back expecting the same. If the meal is then just OK, you will be far more disappointed than if it had been poor from the start. Your expectations have been raised. Chain restaurants are so popular, as you know what they will get where ever you are in the country. Costa coffee for example is the same in all over the country, if you like Costa coffee the risk of having a coffee in another part of the country is taken away. As humans are hard wired to take the easiest option, chain restaurants don’t make life difficult or confusing for their customers.
Is No marketing, Also Great Marketing?
Only when a customer is delighted will they be excited enough to spread the word and tell everyone they know. Some businesses like “Please Don’t Tell” a restaurant in New York have taken this to the extreme by never advertising and having no sign outside. Fortunately for them people do tell and word of mouth has worked perfectly for them. Just think back to when you were a child and you had a brilliant new toy. You would tell everyone who was prepared to listen and maybe even a few, who did not want to know. But this is the kind of excitement you need to create. To get word of mouth to work to its full potential for you.
They Won't Risk Their Reputation For You.....and Why should They?
People will not be willing to risk their reputation on something that is mediocre. They need to be certain your product will get their and their friends whites, whiter than white or make them all look ten years younger. But the good news is people are often friends with people like themselves with the same beliefs and values. So, if one person from friend group likes your stuff then, it is lightly they will know at least a few more who do to.
Put In The Work and They Will Spread You Message Far and Wide!
As well as using reviews from happy customers, going the extra and asking for them to recommend a friend has been used very successfully by many companies both big and small. People have a greater loyalty to a brand if they have friends and family who are also involved. We all like to be part of something and believe we have made great decisions. So, to use word of mouth to its maximum, delight customers, have a strong message and be consistently, they will then be happy to spread the word of your good work far and wide.