In any customer based business, reputation is everything. The power of simple word of mouth can make or break your business. Positive reviews not only improve customer retention but they can be also used in your marketing efforts to generate referrals and more business.
Word of mouth is one of the most credible forms of advertising because people who don't stand to gain personally by promoting something put their reputations on the line every time they make a recommendation.
Positive word of mouth marketing requires work. But you should consider it an investment. Start by creating a simple marketing message that can be passed from client to potential client. Simple yet specific is the key here, and always include testimonials and success stories.
Don't be afraid to ask. Politely engage your network and push gently for referrals, reviews and positive encouragement from clients, friends, family, vendors, etc.
If your network is small, join local business organisations, industry groups, online networks and sign up for conferences and seminars.
As advertising generates general scepticism, word of mouth marketing is more influential than ever. The explosion of social networks means that people are interacting more than ever. Posting requests for information in statuses, blogs and forums.
Before making a purchase a new generation of consumers are asking their "friends" "iPhone or Android?" and waiting for their network to weigh in.
Create a positive online presence. Engage in forums and encourage your network to spread the word of their satisfaction with blog reviews, status updates and posts.
Create a 'buzz' and leave a mark- think outside of the box and it will always get people talking. Intelligent subtleties, ingenuity, creativity and in-your-face shock value tend to garner the most positive attention.
Word of Mouth marketing is centered on honesty. Under-promise and over-deliver to gain trust within your network. Be careful not to be too pushy to avoid scaring people away.