While your marketing plan can cover a lot of bases, there is no real replacement for word of mouth marketing. Getting customers to promote your business on their own shows that you have built a strong brand that provides high-quality products and services. To help build your word of mouth marketing, use the tips provided below.
Provide High Quality Customer Service
One of the easiest ways to generate positive buzz about your business is to make sure you are responsive and courteous to your customers. Respond to questions and complaints as quickly as possible, and your customers will tell others about how quickly you worked to solve their problems.
Keep Your Language Simple
When presenting information to customers, avoid using jargon or confusing industry terms. Keep your language simple and straightforward, using phrasing that people who have no prior knowledge of your industry can understand. This keeps customers from feeling confused or talked down to.
Give Customers the Benefit of the Doubt
If a customer calls with a complaint, don’t get defensive. It’s much better to give the customer the benefit of the doubt and work to fix the problem, even if the issue doesn’t stem from something you did. A customer with a bad service experience will spread negative word of mouth about your store, which can be severely damaging.
Provide Regular Communications
Put together a monthly newsletter or other routine piece of communications that your regular customers can use to get news about your store. Make sure to use images and keep the tone of the newsletter friendly rather than overly formal. This helps to establish a strong relationship with your regular customers.
Be Active on Social Media
Social media is another place where customers can reach you, ask questions, and find out about your latest products. Make sure you stay active and responsive on your social media accounts. Every time you get a customer to share a post or picture relating to your store, you improve your word of mouth marketing.
Include Share Buttons in Communications
Whether it’s a blog post, a newsletter, or news about a sale, you should always include a share button in your communications. This allows customers to endorse your store with the push of a button, potentially notifying hundreds of people that you are a storefront that they trust.
You should make sure that it is easy for customers to provide reviews of your products and services. Don’t worry about the risk of bad reviews – if you provide high quality service, the good reviews will cancel them out and allow others to find your store much more easily.
Use Customer Testimonials
If you have a very satisfied customer that you have helped personally, ask them if they are willing to provide a testimonial. This can be a simple quote or review that goes on your website to show what normal people think of your store.
Share Your Good Publicity
Whether you get involved in the community or simply receive Internet recognition for a job well done, make sure to publicize that information. Adding news about an award or achievement on your landing page or even in your site’s banner can emphasize the way the community around you feels about your store.
Make Your Contact Information Easy to Find
Customers who visit your store should be able to contact you easily should they run into any trouble. You should make sure that you have a clearly marked contact section which includes a phone number, email address, and live chat option if you can manage it.
Learn from Your Competition
Explore the online stores owned by others competing in your industry. If they do something you don’t, consider why and whether you should match them in that area. If you know your competition, you know where you stand in a competitive industry.
Communicate Publicly with Non-Competitors
Customers like to see different companies interact with one another in a friendly manner. By selecting non-competitors who have some sort of overlap with your area of business, you can build up a friendly relationship without endorsing somebody that can damage your business.
Follow Up with Customers
Even after you have resolved a customer issue, make sure to follow up a short time later. Customers who receive a follow up email a week or so after a positive customer service experience take that as a sign that you really are looking out for them.
Match Competitors’ Bargains
If your competitor offers coupons or bargains that would normally cause you to lose business, consider matching the deal. This emphasizes that you are flexible enough to do what it takes to earn your customers’ business.
Be Active in Your Community
Provide giveaways or discounts for charity. Have a public presence at a local event. Being active in your community helps spread good news about your store and helps everybody around you.
By boosting your word of mouth marketing, you increase both traffic and conversions. The tips above are the perfect place to get started with this.