The Power Of Good Word-Of-Mouth Reviews And How To Get Them
Word of mouth is still the way that most people discover a business. In fact, 85% of small businesses said their customers learned of them through a word-of-mouth recommendation.
Your existing happy customers are one of the best marketing resources you have at your disposal. Here are three ways you can maximize your word-of-mouth exposure.
- Check for your business regularly on Google
Word of mouth is just as relevant online as it is offline. Search for mentions of your business or website on Google. You can either do this manually to set up an automatic Google alert to send you an email every time there is a new mention.
Make a copy of the positive comments to use later as testimonials. If there is the option to reply you should try to reply to every comment you receive, positive or negative. It is a good way to make customers feel valued. Happy customers will feel noticed and you have a chance to rectify unhappy customers’ opinions.
- Conduct a regular customer survey or have a system in place to learn what your customers REALLY think
Surveys are a great way of gathering feedback from customers. Promote the results online through reviews and case studies – after all, reviews are the first place customers look online when choosing a business to use.
You can also offer a reward for completing the survey, something like a 20% off voucher. This way your survey can also double as a marketing channel and the free gift incentivizes the customer to complete the survey.
- Create opportunities for customers to share word of mouth
Make it as easy and appealing as possible for existing customers to share their experiences with friends, family and co-workers.
- Ask directly for referrals
Many customers will be willing to give you a referral but aren’t ever going to do it unprompted. A gentle reminder, without irritating them, can be all it takes to get a 5-star review or a recommendation to a friend. A quick phone call or email along the lines of “We’re glad you were pleased with your service, feel free to recommend friends and colleagues to us and we will make sure they get the same great service”.
- Suggest an easy way to leave a testimonial
Make a suggestion to your customers of where they can leave a review. Businesses like hotels will sometimes give cards on checkout with the URL of their TripAdvisor profile to encourage a customer to leave a review.
- Provide referral cards
On a similar note, business cards can be a great way to encourage word of mouth. Giving each satisfied customer a business card means they have an easy way of sharing your business details. You could even append an offer to the card (such as 20% off) to entice new or repeat business.
- Include a “refer a friend” links in your newsletter
If you are already sending out a regular newsletter via email, add a “refer a friend” link that makes it easy for your subscribers to share your content. Each new share is a chance to gain a new subscriber and new subscriber is a chance to gain a new customer.
These are just some of the tactics you can use to increase word of mouth marketing for your business.