Word-of-mouth marketing is by far the most effective form of business promotion. Today, consumers would rather rely on personal recommendations than on commercials or paid expert opinions of any kind. That is why many companies are trying to win over their customers’ hearts and minds and turn them into brand advocates.
Although there’s no proven recipe for gaining more brand advocates, there are practices that can help you to motivate your customers to recommend your business to their acquaintances. In this article, we are going to share some of the ways that will help you to widen up your brand’s reach by using the benefits of word-to-mouth marketing.
Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Increased market competition has motivated businesses to search for a competitive gain outside of the regular product update cycles and marketing campaigns. Exceptional customer service is something customers remember and talk about. That is why it is a very efficient way of turning them into brand advocates. Consumers like to buy things from companies that respect them and the best way to show your respect is to provide premium customer service.
Ask for Customer’s Feedback
Asking for a customer’s feedback will not influence their decision about your business. However, it will improve your word-of-mouth marketing prospects by reminding them about the top-quality products and services they purchased.
Today, an average consumer makes dozens of purchases per day, and they often forget how good some of these products were. That is why reminding your customers to recommend your business does the trick, and can drastically increase the number of brand advocates.
When asking for feedback, do not hesitate to be direct. Ask them: “How likely are you going to recommend our products/services to your family and friends?” Even if you do not receive a positive answer, you will have plenty of valuable data that you can use for improving your marketing, sales, and production processes.
Organize Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs can be very addictive to consumers. Sometimes, not only will they tell their friends about your business, but they will explicitly ask them to purchase a product from you so they can earn extra points and come closer to the wanted reward or a discount.
Loyalty programs entrench customers in your brand, and they will often draw some of their friends and family with them. MLM companies discovered the effectiveness of loyalty programs a long time ago, and they earn a large percentage of their income through personal recommendations.
Organize Referral Programs
People often ask what the difference between loyalty and referral programs is. Loyalty programs are based on contestants purchases, while referral programs only count the number of new customers contestant brings into the circle. This means that improving word-of-mouth marketing is the sole purpose of referral programs as opposed to sales improvements.
Referral programs are often more efficient than loyalty programs because the new customers who are brought into the circle are more likely to stick to your brand and participate in the referral program themselves.
Personalize Customer Experience
In the customer experience segment, we have talked about showing respect and gratitude to your customers. There is no better way to show this than to make your communication more personal. The commercial world and mass production tend to crash any type of sales personalization, and that is why this tactic can produce more value than ever before.
Do you remember the time when your local grocery shop owner was also your friend? You do not get that kind of respect in a chain supermarket, do you? Consumers too are often nostalgic for these simple and carefree times and they will often recommend the company that tries to create a stronger connection with them.
Improve Your Company’s Identity
To develop a successful word-of-mouth marketing strategy, you will need to have an exceptional corporate identity. Although personal recommendations are more effective than any other form of marketing, to make consumers buy something you need to make your offer more professional.
Start by crafting a nice-looking logo, a company mission, and one or a few enticing, creative, and memorable slogans. You can hire graphic designers and copywriters for these tasks, but if you run a small operation on a shoestring budget, you can also use a free slogan maker or choose among the various open-source graphics programs.
Send Gifts to Your Customers
Everyone likes presents. Your customers will respect the fact that you gave them something for free and share it with their acquaintances. When giving out presents, you do not need to tie them with customer’s purchases. Sending a gift ‘just because’ is usually even more effective than bundling free products with the paid ones.
Be original when you send gifts. Choose a special date to do this. It can be a customer’s birthday or an anniversary of their subscription. Choose the present in accordance with customers’ preferences and wrap it up nicely.
Ask Customers for User-generated Content
User-generated content works like a charm on social media. You can motivate your customers to promote your brand online by promising them free products and discounts. This is one of the best ways to validate your business, and since people have hundreds of followers on social networks, your customer base can drastically increase.
Keep Customers Informed
If you do business online, keep your customers informed. They need to have total control over the ordering process, and they need to know where their product is at any point of the purchase and shipping process. Many eCommerce businesses use order tracking to ensure their customers that the products they have ordered are coming on time.
Leverage the Power of Brand Ambassadors
Every company that wants to become a market leader needs to leverage the promotional power of brand advocates. If you follow the tips we shared above, you will be able to create a winning word-of-mouth marketing strategy that will enable you to gain an army of loyal followers and supporters.