How To Harness The Power Of Word-Of-Mouth
Word -of-Mouth is proven to be about seven times more influential than traditional advertising. People can downright distrust companies – so it makes sense that people trust their family and friends over paid advertisements. If there’s a positive buzz about your products or services, people are obviously more willing to buy them.
LEARN TO LEVERAGE WORD-OF-MOUTH
The best part about word-of-mouth advertising is that it’s absolutely free. But in today’s tech-driven communities, companies have trouble converting traditional word-of-mouth into online word-of-mouth consequently. People use online reviews to judge a product or service, we need to leverage positive word-of-mouth into positive reviews online.
One way to garner positive attention is to offer incentives for customers willing to post reviews. You could offer to submit them into a sweepstakes for a great prize if they leave a review about your product or service online. You could even give them a small freebie in exchange for their feedback, and hope they leave a positive review. It’s a great tactic to solicit good feedback because the customer is going to be more inclined to leave a positive review if you sweeten their overall experience.
Let’s say you don’t have the capital to host a sweepstakes or offer up goodies in exchange for customer reviews. It’s possible to ask a customer at the point-of-sale to submit a review about their experience. Oftentimes, this is the best strategy because the experience they had is fresh in their minds. The downside of this is that if the questionnaire is too long or complicated, the person will probably decline your hopeful invitation of leaving a review. If you decide that a quick, “leave a star” rating scale is insufficient for your industry—and you require actual paragraphed feedback—you could send them an email. This works either directly after their purchase, or a few weeks afterwards. Essentially, what you’re doing is “checking in” on their experience.
This is a non-intrusive ask that doesn’t cost your business anything. (Keep in mind, you’ll be able to leverage positive feedback on your company website as testimonials, too!) A possible downside of this is if the customer had a negative experience, they’re now more willing to tell you about it and/or make a public negative review about your business. People are frankly more outspoken online, because they’re typing into a screen, rather than telling someone face-to-face or leaving a review inside the business at the point-of-sale.
WHEN IN DOUBT, THINK IT OUT
Overall, you should take inventory on your business model, the industry you’re in, and what product/service you offer before soliciting positive reviews online. Is it most effective for your business to receive many 5-star reviews? Do you need customer testimonials for a new product? Do you need detailed feedback for a complicated product? Once you decide what type of feedback you desire, make it easy (or incentivize!) the customer to give you that feedback.