With an abundance of marketing techniques available for businesses, how do you know which one is bringing in revenue for your company? Often times, businesses will survey its customers and in trade offer those that participate the chance to win a small reward, get free merchandise or services, or give them discounts on their next purchase. The included questions typically help a company better understand what the patron thought about the workers than helped them as well as the quality of the product they received. This is a quick easy way for companies to make the necessary changes to continually improve.
As a business owner, you may use this technique and have learned great tips, but have you forgotten one valuable question? Did you ask your customers, “How did you hear about us?” This question may not help you coach your team or widen your product base but it will tell you where your money may be going to waste on marketing. Are you spending a portion of your budget on sidebar ads? Maybe you forked out some cash for a billboard by a major highway? Customers will tell you if these marketing ads helped your business. More than likely though, you’ll see responses indicating your business was chosen because of word of mouth.
Tiffany Brown recently discussed how to generate word of mouth marketing by giving tips like offering better products and making yourself known in the community. Once you start the process of spreading the word about your business, word-of-mouth marketing does the job for you. It is not only the best type of marketing, it is the cheapest too.
Your marketing goal should be to build customer loyalty. Do not be afraid to ask for your customers to spread the word. There is only one thing worse than bad service: regular service. You need to give your customers something to talk about. Give them amazing service. Show them a top of the line product. Beat the prices of your competitors. Whatever you do, make sure you stand out because a mediocre business interaction will go unnoticed. Do not be afraid of negative customers. It is natural for word-of-mouth to spread faster for bad service but if you make sure your business focuses on the customer, the rare negative occurrence will not disrupt the reputation you are trying to build.
Word-of-mouth is easily spread these days via Facebook, Twitter, and millions of blogs, but a newer trend should also not be ignored and that is with review sites like Yelp and Foursquare. With face to face communication becoming the rarity, these social networking sites are the future of your word-of-mouth marketing.
In summary, your customers guide your marketing. You need to know what prompts them to visit you and not your competitor. You need to prove to them that they made the right choice. And you need to encourage them to spread the news of your successes. By taking these steps, you will keep the focus on your customer service and reap the benefits of great marketing at the same time.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. Megan also specializes in mobile marketing.