Do you have any t-shirt wearers? Do you have raving fans who would happily spread the good word of your business without being prompted to do so? Word of mouth is the most valued means of advertising and a cost efficient way to boost your business and referrals.
For myself, I know when I find a new product or service that I love, I immerse myself in it and find ways to drop it into every possible conversation. I like to share my knowledge and help other people see all of the benefits of said product/service (possibly somewhat annoyingly so). So much so that sometimes I feel I should be on commission for the latest service, app or product I am pushing.
This got me thinking about what it is about those products or services that gets me wearing the t-shirt for that brand. Most people think that word of mouth is just about good customer service. But it’s much more than that. Good customer service is of course important for the success of any business, but if you expect customers who are ‘averagely happy’ to talk a lot about you, think again.
The sad reality of business is that people are more likely to talk about you when they are unhappy, than when they are happy or satisfied. We also need to remember the face of “word of mouth” advertising has changed a lot in the last 10 years with the added share-factor of social media and the internet. It’s easier for people to complain about something and for more people to hear it, than ever before. Therefore good customer service generally just reduces the possibility of negative word of mouth.
We need to take extra steps beyond good customer service to get our customers raving about us and singing our praises. So how do you get people to wear your t-shirt and become brand advocates for you? I believe it comes down to one or more of these three areas:
- Your product or service makes their lives easier, simpler and faster – your service makes dealings with you easier, having their property managed by you makes their life simpler, receiving information from you makes their life faster. They don’t have to worry about a thing because of your product/service
- You make them feel important and valued – you and your company take extra care to ensure your client is taken care of, respected, involved and listened to. They are made to feel like their opinion matters
- Your perks and benefits are worth writing home about – the cool features and bonuses they receive as being a part of your business are worth telling others about, what do you offer that others don’t?
Remember though that the above is futile if you do not do the basics right. No matter how easy you make it, how special you make them feel, or what perks you offer – if you don’t provide the basics required of a service, you may as well not bother as they will not erase bad service.
Take some time to have a planning session to work out what you can do to turn your customers into raving t-shirt wearers and advocates for your business. Put yourself in their shoes and think what it is that would actually make you rave about your service.
Join our webinar on Wednesday – Gaining Referrals in New Business for more great tips on building your business through referrals.