5 Ways to Generate Word-Of-Mouth as a Small Business

By Andrew Gazdecki

word-of-mouth

Humans rely on their network to make decisions about where to go, what to do, and what to buy. 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know, and 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family. According to Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger, author of the bestseller Contagious, word-of-mouth is 10 times as effective as traditional advertising.

You might be fooled into thinking that word-of-mouth is simple to generate, but it isn’t. Creating a buzz-worthy message that goes viral is not an easy task and, unfortunately, there is no clear-cut formula (much to the dismay of marketers). So, how do you turn customers into brand advocates? How do you fuel conversations that make people want to share your message with their network?

1. Exceed your customers’ expectations

According to Entrepreneur, “businesses should be focusing on creating customer service that transforms customers into fans who can’t stop talking about your brand.” But it goes even beyond excellent customer service. Word-of-mouth is triggered when a customer experiences something far beyond what was expected. Hence, you need to delight and please your customers with their entire experience. It’s important to remember that this is not so much about gifts and promotions, but about how you treat and communicate with the people who drive your business growth.

How can you, then, improve the customer experience as a whole? One example is when Colorado’s Vail Resorts created a mobile app that connected skiers with their networks on the mountain. Dupped EpicMix, the app allowed guests at any of the Vail’s five resorts to capture their performance and share it with others on social media. With RFID technology embedded into season passes and lift tickets, riders were able to learn where and when they skied, and how far they traveled. Riders were motivated and challenged to push themselves while sharing their achievements with their friends and family. After going live in December 2012, 100,000 guests at the resort were using the app, generating more than 35 million social impressions. With the use of mobile technology, Vail Resorts managed to exceed their customers’ expectations of their stay at the resort, leading to an immediate influx in word-of-mouth.

2. Create the WOW factor

The Missouri Business Development Program states that: “All successful small businesses seem to have an edge. They have found a way to distinguish themselves, to rise above the commercial fray, to put the WOW into their business.” It’s not enough to offer a quality product or service. You need to surprise and delight your customer, not simply satisfy them. How do you do this? By incorporating a WOW factor. Transform a satisfactory experience into a special and memorable experience. For example, if you run a Bed & Breakfast, you can go that extra mile by providing your guests with a handwritten note and a local bottle of wine in their room.

One of my personal “wow experiences” was after a trip to the vet’s office. Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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