Think about the last time you tried a new restaurant or visited a new store. What did you think of it? Did you tell your friends about it? According to a Nielsen study, “92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family than other advertising.” This statistic alone shows the value that word-of-mouth (AKA WOM) marketing, and how it still plays a major role in the success or failure of today’s businesses. Keep reading to learn more about word-of-mouth marketing.
Modern Forms of WOM
Before the internet, people often heavily depended on recommendations from others on the best products to buy, services to use, or businesses to visit. That idea still rings true today, but now, it just comes in many different forms. When shopping for anything, it seems like our first jump is to the reviews section of an online listing. What do other people think of the product? What experiences do they have about using the product? These customer reviews often play pivotal roles in whether or not a consumer opts into purchasing your specific product. Online reviews can be immensely helpful in growing your business, or incredibly harmful depending on who is reading and sharing this information. The most popular online search engine is Google. On average, Google receives 63,000 searches every second on any given day. When searching on Google for a business or product, the first section that catches your eye is the user rating and online reviews. If you have a poor rating online – that could potentially prove to be detrimental. Research by brightlocal.com shows that “91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And they make that decision quickly: 68 percent form an opinion after reading between one and six online reviews.”
Why is WOM Important?
Word-of-mouth marketing is so important in any business. Your first priority should always be customer service. If a customer is happy with their experience with you and your business, they are more likely to send their friends and family to you. With more and more people talking about how happy they were after working with you, the better your business’s reputation becomes. You can spend all of your time and money pumping out fancy advertising or giving away promotional swag, but in the end, it will all have been for nothing if people believe you have poor service. No amount of free shirts or coffee mugs can fix a negative experience for a customer. Unfortunately, one negative experience often stands out above 10 positive experiences. You will not always be able to make everyone happy. It is impossible because no person or business is absolutely perfect 100% of the time, but, you can always give your best effort to your customers, and oftentimes, they will see you are trying to help the best way you can.
When trying to create positive word-of-mouth sharing there are ways to help encourage current and potential customers. First and foremost, make you and your brand appealing. Approach social media and advertising in a fun, positive, and interesting way. By doing this, you are showing current and potential customers the type of business you are. Sure, you should always be professional and courteous, but that doesn’t mean you can have fun or be positive while doing it. Tie yourself or your business with a common need and promote that. For example, maybe you own a business that makes shoes for children, you could promote that your store is a great place to visit when the kids head back to school for a new school year. That way, when school shopping season starts up, your store is the first place parents are going to buy new shoes for their kids. Offer value to customers, whether that be great customer service or an awesome product, people always tend to talk about the good experiences they have.
In a time when social media rules all, the opinion of others and sharing experiences is still as important as ever. Making sure every person who interacts with you and your business has the best experience possible is crucial. By building this trust, you will encourage your current customers to refer their friends and family in the future. Which, in turn, will help grow and improve your business and the way others perceive it and you.
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