In the last post we covered how to put together a Word of Mouth campaign. Today we’re going to give you some great ways to use word of mouth when building and executing your campaign.
We’ve put together a list, so you can go through and highlight the ones you want to put into action. These are offered by George Silverman, you can find these tips in his amazing book The Secrets of Word of Mouth Marketing.
Here they are:
- Give them something worth talking about
- Cater to your original customers shamelessly
- Give them incentives to engage in word of mouth
- Ask them to tell their friends and family
- Remember, the customer is always right
- Always be honest
- Surprise your customers by giving them a little more than they expected
- Give them a reason to buy, make them come back and refuse service from anyone else other than you
- Make eye contact, and smile, even through the telephone
- Find ways to make doing business with you a little better: a warmer greeting, a cleaner floor, nicer lighting, a better shopping bag, faster service, free delivery, lower prices, more selection.
- The customer is your reason for being. Never take her for granted.
- Always dust off items, but never let the customer see you doing it.
- Never embarrass a customer, especially by making him feel ignorant.
- Never answer a question coming from a desire to show how smart you are. Answer with a desire to help the customer make the best decision.
- Never shout across the store about the personal items a customer is buying.
- When you don’t know, say so. Do whatever you can to find out the answer.
- Every customer is special. Try to remember their names.
- Don’t allow known shoplifters into the store.
- Never allow two sales staff to stand there talking when a customer is waiting.
- The worst thing you can do is count your cash while a customer is waiting.
- If you can suggest something better, they will be grateful. Always respect their choice.
- Never pressure anyone into buying anything.
- Never knowingly give bad advice. Just help people come to the right decision.
- Personally visit the store of the competition or assign people to visit and report back to you.
- Hire a shopping service to prepare periodic reports on how your people are treating your customers.
- If you hear of a store where the management is insulting the customers, buy it, then put up the sign “Under New Management” outside. Then sell it later based on the increased sales.
- Always look for ways to make a stranger a customer.
- People will walk several blocks to save a dollar, see a smile, or be treated right.
- Always run a sale promotion or an offbeat event. Make them come back to see what you are cooking up next.
- Use the best sign-maker you can find.
- Treat your employees and salespeople who sell to you the same way you treat your customers.
- Have a zero error system in place. There may be terrible consequences for example, if a mistake is made filling a prescription. Have people check each other’s work for safety.
- Occasionally make intentional mistakes to see if people are checking.
- Always measure your performance.
- Always ask a customer to “come back soon”
- If customers say they are moving away, offer to send them their favorite items by mail.
- Tell jokes.
I know this is a lot of information to digest, so we’re going to end this post here and leave you with the task of going through and taking a look at the tips and tricks you like best. Also, it’s a good idea to focus on the tips that fit your company, products, services and target customers for the most effectiveness.
If you need any help with this process, try our GUIDED TOUR and get all the help you need from our experience business coaches.
In this week’s post we discuss how to research and create a ‘Word of Mouth’ campaign. People tend to remember the extraordinary, strange, wild, surprising and unusual. You need to make sure your ideas and marketing reflect these reactions. This doesn’t mean you have to have a product or service that is completely out of the norm, in fact, this could easily drive customers away. You need to have a product or service that is high quality and easily marketable, then you need to market it as extraordinary.
As you’re researching, here are some questions you need to ask yourself along the way:
- What are your customers willing to tell prospective clients?
- Exactly how do your customers describe your product/service?
- What are the non-users willing to ask the users?
- What do they need to know, but are not wanting to ask?
- What happens when these issues are raised?
- Exactly what do your prospects have to know in order to trigger a purchase?
- Exactly how do your customers answer the objections, concerns, and doubts of your prospects?
- How do your customers persuade their friends to use your product?
- How do your customers suggest they initially get to know or try your product?
- What warnings, safeguards, tips, and suggestions do your customers suggest to your prospects?
- Are your sales messages, positioning, and important facts about your product getting through and surviving word of mouth?
- What messages do you need to inject into the marketplace in order to turn the tide in your favor and how will you deliver them?
The reason Word of Mouth research is so important is that it helps to spread genuine feedback from real customers.
Now we are going to discuss how to construct a Word of Mouth campaign. First we’ll take a look at the key things you need to put together a campaign. These are:
- A superior product
- A way of reaching key influencers in your marketplace
- A cadre of experts willing to bat for you
- A large number of enthusiastic consumers
- A way of reaching the right prospects
- One or more compelling stories that people will want to tell to illustrate your product’s superiority
- A way to substantiate, prove, or back up your claims and how the product will work in the real world
- A way for people to have direct, low-risk experience, a demo, sample, or free trial
- A way of reducing overall risk
Once you have these ready to go, you should consider the situations in which your company would benefit from a strong Word of Mouth program. Some of these situations are:
- When there are credibility problems
- When there are breakthroughs
- When there are marginal improvements
- Where the product has to be tested in large numbers or over a long period of time
- Where there is high risk in trying the product
- With older or mature products that have a new story that people tend to ignore
- With unfair competitive practices such as spreading rumors, or telling lies about your product
- When there are governmental or other restrictions on what you may say or claim directly
This wraps up this week’s post on Word of Mouth research and how it can be used when creating your campaign. If you need help getting started, try our GUIDED TOUR where you’ll have access to an abundance of tools and resources.
In today’s post we will talk about how word of mouth messages are delivered and how you can influence those messages.
There are essentially 3 methods of word of mouth:
- Expert to Expert
- Expert to Peer
- Peer to Peer
When experts are talking about your products or services you will usually receive an amazing influx of sales and new customers, this is one of the best things that can happen for your business. A way to help to facilitate this is by offering free products to experts for them to review.
Expert opinion can also bring about new ideas that help to fuel new products, services and operating systems within your company. If you take the time to change or develop the opinions of even a small group of experts, you will have the opportunity to help your market explode.
There is a standard word of mouth delivery system that, in most cases, takes a few years. But, you can speed this up into only a few weeks. The standard system is:
- First impressions from an expert
- Organized trial of your products or services
- Pooling peer experiences
It’s important to know exactly who is advocating for your products and services. Take the time to find out who they are and reward them. You may already have a customer service system for filing complaints, do you have one for compiling praise? Most likely not. If you take the time to show these people appreciation, they will continue praising your products and services.
Some of the ways you can show them appreciation are:
- Invite them to a customer appreciation dinner
- Offer to record their testimonials
- Ask to interview them for feedback on things you can improve
- Offer them a premier customer membership
- Ask them to join a referral incentive program
There are lots of things you can offer your biggest fans to help spread the word about your products and services.
Conventional media has been around forever and while it can still be effective, it’s lost some of its luster over the last few years. There are a few reasons for this:
- It’s often expensive and doesn’t necessarily return results
- It can be boring – lacking something fresh, new and exciting
- Too short of a time slot to offer enough information
While these are all true, there are ways you can make conventional media work for you. For the information to be effective it needs to be presented in the right sequence, come from the right sources, be relevant to the target customer, be credible and be delivered at the right time in the medium.
Now we’ll move on to talk about the two phases of the product adoption cycle. Traditional media is great for taking you through the information stage where you can offer the information you need to your potential customers, but it’s not so great for measuring the results of those efforts.
Without these results you can’t fine tune your marketing and therefore can easily miss the boat, lose potential customers and waste a whole lot of money. Once a consumer has the information they need, they’ll go through a verification process as they analyze whether or not the purchase was a good one. They generally get their information through:
- Direct experience with the product
- Interaction with peers who are using the same product
- Experts’ experience
- Scientific journals and other resources
- Independent reviews and opinions
You can accelerate this process by:
- Providing your own demo’s and free trials
- Offer them indirect experience through the experience of others
- Offer a good true story that can be passed around
Once you have the ability to work through these concepts, you will be able to target your customers much more effectively. If you need help with any of this along the way, try our GUIDED TOUR to gain access to our experienced business coaches.
In this week’s post we are covering the concept of uncomplicating the decision making process to make it more efficient for both you and your customers/clients. There are essentially 5 stages in the decision making process.
The customer will:
- Give the product/service a chance to transition from a “no” to a “maybe”.
- Investigate the different options and products available.
- Observe the product to check for potential features and benefits, to see if it aligns with their needs.
- Become a customer and purchase their first item. They will be able to form their opinion of you and your product.
- Purchase again and start spreading positive word of mouth as an advocate of your products.
So, let’s take a closer look at each one of these.
From “No” to “Maybe”
This stage is important because if your potential customers don’t even take a second look at your products and services, then you have no chance of sealing a deal. This is why you need to offer credible information and well thought out pricing, guarantees and incentives.
Investigating Your Products
At this stage they are taking a closer look at your product line to see if there is actually anything that could benefit them. This is where you need to make sure your information is right out there in front for the customers to see and compare.
Customers often feel more at ease and ready to purchase when there is some sort of a trial in place. They usually want to try vicariously through someone else, so they don’t feel any risk involved. A good way to offer this is through demo videos, product demonstrations or a tour of your facilities. This stage may invoke a reaction of “I tried it and liked it. You should check it out.”
Make a Purchase
At this stage, they have taken the risk of purchasing one of your products or services and are now evaluating how easy, convenient, cost effective and satisfying your product or service is. At this stage a common reaction would be, “It was really easy to use and learn from. It’s really great, you should get it!”
Advocates for Your Products
At this last stage of decision making the customer is pleased with your product and often continues using it and/or comes back for more products and services. They are likely telling friends/family how much they like it, that they use it every day and have already (or will be) back to your business for more.
So now we have discussed the different types of purchasers, we are going to take a closer look at their characteristics, so you can figure out which tactics are best to use at the right stage of the decision making process.
- Wants to stand out from the crowd
- Knows what’s hot and trending
- Likes “strange” or “weird” new products
- Wants to be the first to try and will talk about it enthusiastically
- Driven by excellence
- More concerned with possibilities than realities
- Always looking to be a leader
- Always looking for a new vision
- Wants to be perceived as competent
- Concerned about practicality and easy comparisons
- Needs an easy way out if not satisfied
- Wants products that meet the industry standard
- Generally skeptical and wants to know the risks upfront
- Needs to shop around for the best deal
- Needs a support system
- Wants what everyone else has
- Needs it to be completely safe and traditional
- Needs reassurance that nothing will go wrong
- Won’t try new things unless it’s the last resort
- Will search for loopholes and problems
- Wants to use it in the standard industry way
As you can see, each type of consumer wants something different depending on their personality type. The key to successful word of mouth is to target and cater to each type of consumer. If you need help identifying the different consumer types try our GUIDED TOUR for the resources and tools you need to get the job done.
Today we’re going to delve into the power of Word of Mouth (WOM). We’ll discuss the six step process to success and over 30 different ways to encompass the power of WOM. So, let’s get started!
There are six steps to successful word of mouth for your business:
- Understand your customers’ values and priorities, this will help you understand why they would want to buy your products.
- Understand the different adopter types: innovators, early adopters, middle majority, late adopters and laggards.
- Identify which decision stages are needed for your product to be adopted.
- Use the information from steps 2 & 3 to figure out which wording and word of mouth tactics are going to work using the Decision Maker Matrix (we’ll talk about this in a minute).
- Put together the resources for the highest word of mouth impact.
- Create and implement your word of mouth campaign.
The Decision Maker Matrix is based off years of trial and error by George Silverman. It essentially charts to different concerns you may come across when working with different adopters and putting together a decision process for each one.
We are now going to move on to the 30+ ways to encompass the power of WOM:
Experts can come in many forms and their opinions should be taken into consideration when putting together a WOM campaign. Some experts to gather information from include:
- Experts’ roundtables
- Experts’ selling groups
Seminars, Workshops & Speeches
These venues are a perfect opportunity to gather information. People who attend these types of events are used to giving feedback, so you can use a survey or other method to gather information you can look over later. Some events to use are:
- Speakers program
- Group selling
- Dinner meetings
- Peer selling groups
- Teleconferenced experts’ panels
- Trade show events/opportunities
“Canned” Word of Mouth
The concept of “canned” word of mouth is using hard and online products to get feedback and offer information at the same time. Some ideas for these are:
- World Wide Web
As we’ve previously discussed, a referral program can help with a variety of ways to build your business. By using some of the following tactics you can find out exactly what you need to do to generate positive word of mouth. These tactics are:
- Referral Selling Program
The concept of “new” media is the use of up and coming media sources and opportunities to get the word out about your products and services and listen for the feedback about them. Here’s some of the “new” media options:
- Faxback services
- Web-based word of mouth, such as forums, e-mail, etc.
- Call centers
Using Traditional Media for Word of Mouth
Using traditional media is a great way to get feedback. These are still considered main stream ways of interacting with the public and consumers. Some traditional media outlets are:
- Customer service
- Word of mouth in ads, sales brochures, or direct mail
- Salesperson programs, sales stars, or peer training,
- Word-of-mouth incentive programs (“Tell-a-friend” programs)
- Customer gifts they can share with their friends (articles, how-to manuals)
Internal Word of Mouth
- Encourage employee word of mouth and sharing feedback with family, friends and others
- Offer rewards or commission for word of mouth success
As you can see there are tons of ideas you can work with to increase your positive word of mouth marketing. If you need help with any of this, please reach out, or try our GUIDED TOUR to access our exclusive resources that can help you put this whole thing together.