Taking Advantage of Word of Mouth – Part 1
In this next set of lessons, we’re going to start looking at another topic that’s often overlooked: word of mouth. The problem with not seeing how you can impact and take advantage of word of mouth is that it can have a huge positive or negative effect on your business in a short time. We’ll focus on what word of mouth is in today’s lesson and go on from there.
What is Word of Mouth?
When it comes to marketing, word of mouth is one of the best forms as it’s powerful coming from others using your service. Plus, it’s free! People are willing to talk about the different ads they see that they remember, products they use, and the different experiences they have with brands. By creating a positive experience for people, they will come to your business and help to spread the word to others about your business for the long term.
Is There Bad Word of Mouth?
However, keep in mind that while a positive experience can lead to great word of mouth, this can also go the other way. Negative word of mouth can be very jarring for your business and requires action. People are often more motivated to spread negative word of mouth faster and further than when they’re happy with a service. If your product doesn’t live up to the high-quality expectations or your customer service is poor, people will tell others not to come to your business.
Technology and Word of Mouth
Technology has made word of mouth even more powerful than ever before and is a huge benefit for your business. People are able to share their opinion on your business in a large variety of ways from forums, blogs, social networks, online marketing, podcasts, and every other type of site. It’s never been easier for people to have their word of mouth heard by others. The best part of this is that it’s all free for your business.
Customer Decision Cycle to Increase Sales
Let’s go over why it’s important to help shorten the customer decision cycle to give your clients the boost they need to choose your service quickly and without hassle. You can work to reduce their decision cycle by increasing:
- The number of customers you have
- How often customers are buying
- The overall amount of money that customers spend on their purchase
Going Deeper Into Decision Speed
There are a few things that you can offer your customer that will help them to make their decisions in a quick and confident manner. You should have a simplicity and ease to what you offer. You don’t want to make a decision on your products or services to be too complex or complicated. You should also make the environment fun for customers. Achieving this allows you to help your customers to want to buy more often, spend more money than they normally do (Target, anyone?), and make the decision to buy faster. Don’t forget it also makes them want to give others word of mouth by referring their friends! You can raise your share of the market a 100 times over through this methodology.
The amount of time that your customer takes to make a buying decision should be your top priority as it’s more important than any kind of marketing that you do for your business. Focusing on how long it takes a customer to make a buying decision can make you take a long look at your company, your positioning, the values you offer, your customer service, how your brand is viewed, your guarantees, and the quality you offer. Any of these that cause your customer to pause before purchasing should be examined and tweaked until it’s a positive.
Minimizing Decision Making Stress
Think about how you feel before making a purchase. There’s a certain amount of stress in the buying process, especially for those big purchases or when using a new brand or company. Finding ways to minimize the stress and friction that your customers feel can help to increase their decision speed.
Secrets to Helping to Minimize This Stress
- Make your guarantees, claims, promises, benefits, and features as clear as possible. What may seem obvious and concise to you, may not to your customers. Make sure it does.
- Make sure any information you give your customers about your company, products, and services is credible and balanced.
- Use examples and comparisons that show a noticeable difference.
- Provide a rock-solid guarantee and go above and beyond customer expectations.
- Create free trials that are easy and understandable.
- Keep testimonials to those that are positive and relevant to your current offerings.
- Offer simple product or service evaluations.
- Provide perfect delivery and customer support while keeping your operational systems running effectively and efficiently.
- Make your website as user-friendly and as optimal as you can get. The more information you offer, the better the experience for your customers when it comes to the decision making process. Guiding them gently through this process makes it easier for them to feel comfortable with making a purchase. Things you can do to go above and beyond includes offering software downloads that help with the process, easy ways to get support and customer service, such as a live chat features and a toll-free phone number, and other ways that help reassure your customers that you have their back through this process.
That’s it for today’s lesson. We’ll continue covering word of mouth in the next several lessons. Do you need help with determining the market you should target or putting these lessons into place? Contact us today to learn more about how service can help you to grow your business now and into the future.