Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies. Why? It’s practically free! All you need is a happy customer to share their story with other potential customers.
Potential customers will hear about your store through word-of-mouth no matter what, but there are some steps you can take to make sure it’s good things they’re hearing. You can also take some steps to encourage your customers to share your company so the word-of-mouth spreads more quickly.
Go Above and Beyond for Each and Every Customer
Every time you interact with a customer, go way beyond their expectations. Disgruntled customers will be quick to share their experiences, and if you only meet customers’ expections, they might not tell anyone about your store at all. If you blow them away with your customer service, however, they’ll want to tell everyone how great you are!
If they ask a question, don’t just answer that question – go ahead and answer the follow up question you know they’ll have.
When you’re sending out email newsletters or posting on your Facebook page, make sure you’re not just promoting your company. Share helpful tips and information. You can even form friendships with your customers so you can make personalized recommendations and provide even more helpful information.
No matter what, make sure that you do everything with a sincere smile.
Ask for a Referral
This one might seem like a no-brainer. Just ask! When your customers are checking out, ask them if they’d be willing to tell their friends and family about your store.
You can make it easy for your customers to share your information by giving them a referral card. Your customer can put their name on the card, then when a friend brings it in, they can both receive a small discount.
Make sure that you thank your customers for referring you.
Refer Customers to Other Customers
Because you’ve started to form friendships with your customers to better serve them, you’ll start to learn what they do for a living or what gifts and services they need.
If a customer needs a housecleaner, you can refer them to another customer who owns a housecleaning business. Your customers will likely return the favor and refer people to you.
Be authentic and genuine in every interaction you have with your customers. Get to know them for the sake of making their lives easier, not because you’re fishing for new business. Your customers can tell when you’re faking it.
Keep Your Store Clean and Organized
Unfortunately, customers will be quick to tell their friends how annoying it was to sort through disheveled clothing racks or how dirty your restrooms were. Keeping your store clean and organized, however, they will only be able to say good things.
If you run a clothing boutique, make sure to remove unwanted clothing from the dressing room as soon as possible. If you own a coffee shop, make sure you’re wiping down the tables after every customer so they don’t end up sticky.
Engage on Social Media
Your customers and potential customers are on social media, so engage with them there. Not every interaction has to happen in your store.
If someone mentions your store in a comment, reply to it. If they say good things, thank them for shopping with you and tell them you’re looking forward to seeing them soon. Unfortunately, they might say bad things. If that happens, apologize for their experience and ask them to message you so you can make it right.
If you follow these tips, your customers will be so happy with their experiences that they’ll tell everyone they know to shop with you.