Creating Customers who create customers.
Regardless of your type of business, number of employees or who your “customer” is…they are still YOUR customers.
“There is a growing amount of data indicating why word-of-mouth marketing is so appealing,” reports U.K. Marketing Director and Business Startup Specialist Alex Joll. A Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages report, published recently states that, ‘recommendations from people I know’ are the most trusted form of brand advertising, with a score of 84 per cent. And as digital communications have penetrated our world, this figure has grown, having been just 78 per cent in 2007.
Still not convinced? Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure that can quantify the statement I made above. More and more companies are using this measure to define their operating model. But this is only the first step. The second step is to understand why customers are (or are not) promoting your business. There is a causal link between NPS and the effort a customer has to make in obtaining your product or service. When you change your operating model and staff mindset, to deliver an ease of doing business, NPS goes up quickly.
Word of Mouth Marketing – Steps to Success
Here are five strategies to create a customer who creates customers:
1. Have the right people “on the bus
Best-selling author and business professor, Jim Collins is relentless in his advice regarding how important it is, “to have the ‘right’ people on the bus to have a sustainable successful organization.” All too often we hire for skill over attitude, when it should be a combination of both. Look around your business; are the people there because of attitude and passion or some other reason.
2. Alignment of purpose
Every employee should be familiar with and be in ‘alignment’ with expected values and behaviors. When employees are aligned they make decisions that consistent and in-sync with that purpose. A recent study from the annual Deloitte Core Beliefs and Culture Survey reported that businesses do not do enough to instill in their culture a sense of purpose aimed at making a meaningful impact. This applies to all stakeholders (internal and external). Word-of-mouth marketing still ranks very high – especially in today’s world of social media.
3. Listen to the Customer
Few would argue that in today’s NEW NOW the customer experience rules, so the importance of listening skills should NOT be under-rated. In fact, because listening skills are not taught in school, a listening skill tune-up for managers and employees can significantly improve both employee and customer engagement. Another way to listen to the customer is to implement a mystery shopping program. Sophisticated mystery shopping organizations can provide an array of data, for instant feedback where improvements can and should be made.
4. Exceed Customer Expectations
For the world’s most successful brands, customer experience represents so much more than service—it begins the moment a customer hears about your brand, and follows them through their decision-making process, purchase and post-purchase. Let your customers know that you’re thinking and care about them. Use a contact database program to keep in touch with them frequently.
5. The “Best Customer You NEVER Had”
I love this phrase. Too often we are focused on the “end results.” Even if this particular person doesn’t become your customer, by following the above strategies, they are sure to become an ambassador and recommend you.